Prada Apologizes For Blackface 'Pradamalia' Toys

Prada Apologizes For Blackface 'Pradamalia' Toys

After Dolce & Gabbana's disastrous racist ad campaign, luxury fashion label Prada has also managed to come out with their own problematic product. The brand released "Pradamalia," which is a line of monkey keychains and toys that evoke extremely racist imagery. People have specifically been pointing out how much it resembles blackface.

On the most prominent voices that called out Prada was Chinyere Ezie, who on Thursday explained just what was wrong with the supposedly innocent creatures designed by the label. She wrote a long Facebook post after happening upon the SoHo window display of the Pradamalia. And, to give it more context, she said she recently came from an "emotional visit" to the Smithsonian National Museum of African American History and Culture, which included an exhibit on blackface.

She wrote:

"I don't make a lot of public posts, but right now I'm shaking with anger.

Today after returning to NYC after a very emotional visit to the Smithsonian National Museum of African American History and Cultureincluding an exhibit on blackface, I walked past Prada's Soho storefront only to be confronted with the very same racist and denigrating #blackface imagery.

I entered the store with a coworker, only to be assaulted with more and more bewildering examples of their Sambo like imagery.

When I asked a Prada employee whether they knew they had plastered blackface imagery throughout their store, in a moment of surprising candor I was told that *a black employee had previously complained about blackface at Prada, but he didn't work there anymore.*

History cannot continue to repeat itself. Black America deserves better. And we demand better.

Until then please repost and retweet @Prada using the hashtags#StopBlackface #BoycottPrada #EndRacismNow"

On Friday, a protest broke out at their storefront in SoHo. In response to the protest, Prada draped their windows, and when they reopened the "Pradamalia" were gone. "They were dredged in racist imagery, exaggerated lips, black skin, there was unmistakable reference to blackface that has plagued our country for decades," civil rights activist Chinyere Ezie told ABC 7.

Soon, the company's official Twitter account issued a two-part apology and explanation. In the first part of the apology, they explained, "#Prada Group abhors racist imagery. The Pradamalia are fantasy charms composed of elements of the Prada oeuvre. They are imaginary creatures not intended to have any reference to the real world and certainly not blackface."

They continued, "#Prada Group never had the intention of offending anyone and we abhor all forms of racism and racist imagery. In this interest we will withdraw the characters in question from display and circulation."

Image via Instagram