NEW YORK (AP) — Jay Z announced Friday he’ll move forward with a planned collaboration with Barneys New York despite recent allegations of racial profiling at the luxury store, an ongoing investigation into the claims and public pressure that he back out of the deal.
In a statement on his website, Jay Z said he’d agreed to move forward with next week’s launch of his BNY SCC collection under the condition that he helps lead the store’s review of its policies.
“The easy position would have been to walk away and leave policymaking to others hoping that someone addresses the problem,” said Jay Z. “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.”
He said 100 percent of sales from the collection of clothes, accessories and jewelry will go toward his charitable foundation, which supports educational opportunities for disadvantaged students, and an additional 10 percent of all Barneys’ sales during Wednesday’s launch day will also be donated.
Barneys New York said in a statement that it guaranteed raising a minimum of $1 million Wednesday to be donated to the foundation.
“Barneys New York has zero tolerance for any form of discrimination,” the statement said. “As we have stated all along, if we learn any procedures or practices are not consistent with our zero-tolerance policy, we will immediately take corrective action including terminating those employees responsible.”
Last month, two black customers separately accused the luxury store of racial profiling after they said they lawfully purchased expensive items but were detained by police on suspicion of credit card fraud.
Trayon Christian sued Barneys, saying he was accused of fraud after using his debit card to buy a $349 Ferragamo belt in April. Kayla Philips filed a notice of claim saying she would sue after she was stopped by detectives outside the store when she bought a $2,500 Celine handbag in February.