Over the weekend, Barneys New York and Jay Z reaffirmed their plans to go ahead with a collaboration that involves, among other things, the introduction of a fragrance this Wednesday, but announced some substantial changes in their partnership.
“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,” said Jay Z (nee Shawn Carter) in a statement on Friday night.
Initially, Mr. Carter and Barneys had announced that 25 percent of all sales from the collaboration would benefit the Shawn Carter Foundation, which provides educational assistance to urban youths.
Now, the store said, along with that 25 percent of sales, Barneys will “donate the remaining 75 percent — so that 100 percent of sales from the ‘BNY SCC’ Collection benefit the foundation.”
“Additionally, on November 20th we will donate to the foundation 10 percent of all retail sales from Barneys New York flagship stores nationwide and Barneys.com, with a guarantee of raising a minimum of $1 million,” the store said.
Mr. Carter is not expected to appear at the store on Wednesday, however, and there are no plans for a party celebrating the introduction of his fragrance and product line, which includes collaborations with designers like Proenza Schouler and Balenciaga.
Both parties have been under a microscope since news broke last month that two young African-American shoppers had been wrongfully detained by the police after making purchases from the Barneys Madison Avenue store.
Barneys has continued to deny that anyone from the store notified the police, and has since met with various African-American leaders to discuss issues of racial profiling, but outrage has been unabated.
And many have called on Mr. Carter to pull out of the partnership with the store.
“The easy position would have been to walk away and leave policy making to others hoping that someone addresses the problem,” Mr. Carter said in his statement. “I will not leave the outcome to others.”
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