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.

Rob Brown, an actor who appears on the HBO series “Treme,” also filed a lawsuit in October against Macy’s, alleging he’d been similarly detained and questioned after he was stopped for possible credit card fraud while shopping at the department store. Brown is black.

Macy’s has said none of its employees were involved in Brown’s detention and questioning. On Friday, Barneys said its own investigation has determined none of its employees were involved in stopping Christian or Philips.

An investigation by the state attorney general’s office is “ongoing and active,” a spokeswoman said Friday.

New York Police Department Commissioner Raymond Kelly has said it is standard practice for retailers to call police if they believe crimes have been committed. The NYPD didn’t immediately respond to a message seeking comment Friday.

Jay Z’s decision to not immediately bow out of his Barneys collaboration when the racial profiling allegations surfaced drew a firestorm of criticism on Twitter and an online petition that urged the rap mogul to bow out.

(Photo: AP)


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3 thoughts on “Jay Z Says He’ll Continue Barneys Collaboration

    • Sexy Leroy on said:

      “Give, give, give…” you sound like a damn fool! Why should anyone GIVE anything to our or any community?? Blacks make up less than 14 percent of the U.S. population…(and a lot of that 14 percent ain’t got a pot-to-piss-in do to laziness and bad decisions)that is more than three times less than the majority. So, WTF business sense would that make?? JZ is a business man- handling his business! I’m glad that he has his focus on the right thing instead of some social agenda or politics. Y’all better get your minds right and get with the times or you will be left behind, marching and singing hymns!

      • Blacks in America have buying power of over one trillion dollars annually, and Jay-Z became rich selling his music and image to the Black community. We as a community have a right to demand he act responsibly towards the people that helped to make him rich, its not begging its the way all communities operate except ours. Examine any business in any community outside of ours and see the foundations and charitable deeds they participate in to help give back to the community where they make their money because those communities demand it.

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