And another one! Well-known boho-chic clothing store Anthropologie is the latest brand to be called out for their hypocritical support of the Black Lives Matter movement on social media. Dozens of former employees, influencers and customers are accusing the brand of racism in the workplace, racial profiling, and requesting black influencers to work without pay.
Several former employees commented under the post stating they were instructed to watch and follow Black customers. Not surprising. It was also revealed, the code name “Nick” was used to identify Black customers. Another ex-employee commented, “I worked at Anthropologie and the racial profiling was sickening.”
“So many times the management told us to watch people of color over the headsets and I refused to follow around mostly black people who were just minding their own business and respectfully shopping. Please change.”
Anthropologie and their parent company Urban Outfitters denied their former employees claims despite accusations coming out of California, Chicago, Seattle, NYC, and their Canada stores. However, the brand made a statement promising to “continue to educate our teams in pursuit of a culture said better values and respects this diversity” with anti-discrimination training.
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We support and stand with the Black community. You may have seen that we have been challenged to be more transparent, unbiased, and fair in our stores and with our business practices. We want to clearly lay out our policies regarding these matters and share them with you.
The brand was really exposed when fashion watchdog and blog, Diet Prada, served the tea to their two million Instagram followers. They unveiled policies across different locations confirming they were instructed to use the code “Nick” whenever Black shoppers were in the store.
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Another day, another boho Karen retailer showing their true shades of beige. Last week, @anthropologie posted a Maya Angelou quote in splashy colors as a “call for equality”. With any mention of the #BlackLivesMatter movement absent, Angelou’s words could be interpreted more along the lines of “All lives matter”, lest Anthro offend their primary target audience. In the comment section, oblivious fans clamored for it to be released as a t-shirt or a poster. ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀ Also in the comment section— claims of deep discriminatory practices. The code names different retailers have used to profile POC shoppers have come to light in lawsuits over the years—Moschino’s “Serena”, Zara’s “special order”, or Versace’s “D410” (the merchandise color code they use for black shirts)—but Anthropologie’s is maybe the most insidious yet. Comments from multiple employees confirm that stores in California, Chicago, Seattle, NYC and Canada use the code name “Nick” to refer to Black shoppers. Associates report being told to watch Black shoppers, and Black shoppers also commented confirming having been followed while shopping in their stores. ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀ Anthropologie followed up with a post of a black square and then some promises of action they’ll take. At the same time, more hypocrisy was taking place at the corporate level. While the retailer was posting about committing to diversifying their workforce, they were at the same time asking POC for free labor. On May 26th, Queer Black creator Lydia Okello ( @styleisstyle ) was approached by a producer to potentially partake in Anthro’s #sliceofhappy Pride month campaign in exchange for a free outfit. ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀ Okello replied with their typical rates and ended up getting trapped in a back and forth volley with no resolution after being told there was no budget for an influencer of their level (22.8k followers). For a campaign aimed to express what happiness means, surely they could’ve anticipated that no one, especially in a month meant to celebrate them, is happy to work for free. • #blacklivesmatter #blm #anthropologie #anthropologiehome #anthro #retail #codename #work #free #influencer #microinfluencer #labor #dietprada
Actress Emmy Rossum called Urban Outfitters, Free People, and Anthropologie out demanding they issue an apology and calling their alleged racial profiling “disgusting.” This is just more ammunition for Black influencers and customers, who vowed to stop shopping with the brand and cancel contracts.
Anthropolgie responded to the backlash.
All I know is that everybody ain’t lying on you (in my Auntie Carolynn’s voice). The receipts are stacking against Anthropologie and in the words of Jay Z,”men lie, women lie, number’s don’t.”
Oh No They Didn’t! Anthropologie Accused Of Using ‘Nick’ As A Code Name For Black Customers was originally published on hellobeautiful.com