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JAY-Z will continue working withBarneys on a Christmas collaborative collection, despite allegations that the store is guilty of racial profiling – on the condition that he will have a “leadership role” in addressing the issues. In response to the speculation, the rapper and store have pledged to increase the percentage of profits given to the Shawn Carter Foundation – which provides educational opportunities to young people facing difficulties – to 100 per cent, compared to 25 per cent agreed originally.
When the range – which involves design partners such as Lanvin, Balenciaga and Balmain – launches on Wednesday, Barneys will see that a further 10 per cent of all retail sales from all its stores and Barneys.com, with a minimum donation of $1 million WWD reports, also goes to the foundation. The chain came under fire last month after two black shoppers were reportedly detained by the police outside one of its stores, having made expensive purchases – allegations that are currently being investigated.
“While I await the findings of the Attorney General’s office, I have agreed to move forward with the launch of BNY SCC collection under the condition that I have a leadership role and seat on a council specifically convened to deal with the issue of racial profiling,” Jay-Z said on his website. “I am in a unique position to use my voice to affect change in this disturbing issue. The easy position would have been to walk away and leave policy making to others hoping that someone addresses the problem. I will not leave the outcome to others. I will take this into my own hands with full power to recommend, review and revise policies and guidelines moving forward. I am choosing to take this head on.”