“All of his comments were derogatory and a clear illustration of his prejudices towards other races and religions.
“His comments were offensive and degrading. I confronted him about his statement that ‘black people are slaves and eat dirt off the floor’.
“I told him that I was offended by his comment. He did not deny making the comment. He apologised and claimed it was a ‘joke’. It was not a joke at all.”
Mr Koffi says the manager, who left his job following a disciplinary proceeding, had previously questioned him about his nationality, asking, “where are you originally from?” and often referred to customers by their skin colour.
He alleges that the manager’s frequent remarks about Asian people and his comments about some Louis Vuitton products being “s***” because they were “made in China” created a “hostile and intimidating” working environment.
His solicitor Lawrence Davies, of Equal Justice solicitors, said: “The case will set the 21st century bar as to what employers have to do to prevent racism in the workplace.”
Louis Vuitton accepts that the racist comment was made but defends the claim on the basis the company had taken all reasonably practicable steps to prevent the racist comment.
High-end fashion has recently faced a barrage of racism claims, with models Naomi Campbell and Imam supporting worldwide diversity campaigns.
Yesterday a spokeswoman for Louis Vuitton said: “Louis Vuitton has a zero-tolerance policy to harassment of any kind.
“This reported sentiment is in total violation of the Louis Vuitton Ethical charter.
“This issue was investigated, and the manager in question no longer works within the company.”