In December 2018, Chinyere Ezie, blasted Prada’s New York City store in a Facebook post for its “Pradamalia” line, which included items that clearly used Blackface imagery. The civil rights attorney with the Center for Constitutional Rights (CCR) then filed a complaint with the New York City Human Rights Commission. She has since reached a settlement with Prada, CCR confirmed via an emailed statement on February 5.

Photo: Courtesy of Chinyere EzieWhen Ezie saw the images in a Manhattan Prada window (left) in 2018, she filed a complaint with the NYC Human Rights Commission.

 

Details of the settlement were shared during a press conference held outside the brand’s New York City flagship store. Below are the next steps for the company, pulled directly from the emailed statement: 

• Creation of a first-ever scholarship and paid internship program at Prada for racial minorities and other under-represented groups interested in pursuing careers in fashion and design. 

• Racial equity training and training on equal employment opportunity laws for Prada employees, including executives in New York City and Milan on a reoccurring basis for six years.

• A commitment to recruit and retain underrepresented employees, including racial minorities, to positions across the company.

• Appointment of a permanent diversity officer, whose duties include strengthening Prada’s policies on discrimination, retaliation and racial equity, and ensuring Prada’s business activities and hiring are conducted in a racially equitable manner. 

• Mandatory enforcement and reporting to the NYC Human Rights Commission for a period of two years.

Prada also launched a diversity council that will work to create meaningful partnerships between Prada and social justice organizations for a period of six years.

“When I spoke out about Prada’s Blackface line one year ago, I feared that racism in fashion was just a bitter pill we collectively had to swallow,” said Ezie in the statement. “Now I know that speaking truth to power can lead to meaningful change.”