Prada has announced it will pull certain products from its Pradamalia line after the company was widely accused on social media of using blackface imagery in its products and a store display.
Chinyere Ezie, a civil rights attorney, shared photos of a New York Prada store on Facebook Thursday. Figurines with dark skin and cartoonishly exaggerated red lips could be seen in various parts of the shop. The store was also selling a miniature version of the figure as a keychain.
Ezie likened the products to the “same racist and denigrating #blackface imagery” at an exhibit on blackface she’d seen at the Smithsonian National Museum of African American History and Culture in Washington, D.C.
Many have since taken to social media to lambaste Prada for the products in question, and to call attention to the dehumanizing history of blackface and anti-black caricatures.
Prada did not immediately respond to HuffPost’s request for comment.
On Friday, a message on the official Prada Twitter feed said that the company “abhors racist imagery” and that it will pull the items from display and circulation.
“Prada Group abhors racist imagery,” the company wrote. “The Pradamalia are fantasy charms composed of elements of the Prada oeuvre. They are imaginary creatures not intended to have any reference to the real world and certainly not blackface.”
“Prada Group never had the intention of offending anyone and we abhor all forms of racism and racist imagery,” it continued. “In this interest we will withdraw the characters in question from display and circulation.”
A similar outcry occurred earlier this year when former NBC morning host Megyn Kelly defended the use of blackface in Halloween costumes. Kelly later apologized on the air for her remarks.