Barneys New York is being plagued by racial discrimination lawsuits and now, Derick Bowers, a Brooklyn resident launched a Change.org petition that sheds light on Jay Z's affiliation with the upscale retailer. The rapper is set to debut a holiday collection with the upscale retailer, which includes pieces from Balenciaga, Proenza Schouler, The Elder Statesman and Rick Owens, among others. The collection is slated to hit stores on November 20th, but if the 150+ petition signers and an array of Twitter commenters (think: rapper Juelz Santana and a bunch of angry Jay Z fans) have anything to do with, Jay Z will pull out of the deal. The petition, which is titled "Shawn Carter aka Jay Z: End all partnerships with Barneys New York," states the following:
The petition states: "Barneys lacks any connection with the black and hip-hop community. And without [Jay Z's] vast wealth and brand power, they would see him the same as they see Trayon Christian. Jay Z should be appalled by Barneys actions, and withdraw all support from them. If he does this, he will send a clear message to all corporations that are likeminded, that this behavior cannot be tolerated any longer."
Chances are, the goods are going up for sale regardless of whether Jay Z is involved, especially his level of involvement in "designing" the collection is questionable as it is. As for whether the collaboration items will sell, that has also been up for debate since we first got a look at the wares last month. You may recall that the last time a high fashion retailer did a holiday collaboration, Neiman Marcus x Council of Fashion Designers of America x Target, it was anything but a big seller. So, tell us: Are you going to sign the petition? And even if the petition does garner wide-spread support, do you think Jay Z and/or Barneys will care?
Also worth noting, the petition creator doesn't want you shopping at Barneys, he does want you to buy his t-shirts. Bowers is selling “Barneys New Slaves” T-shirts with proceeds going to the Boys and Girls Club of America. The tees include the image above, an obvious ode to Kanye West's hit song, New Slaves.