Miuccia Prada and her team will receive sensitivity training following a product controversy.
In December 2018, the brand was called out over figurines that appeared in a New York store window which resembled blackface monkeys. The New York City Commission on Human Rights has been working with the Italian brand since the items were spotted.
At the time, Prada apologised and immediately removed the figurines, promising to prioritise diversity, but the city’s law enforcement agency that oversees New York’s human rights laws still decided to take action. As a result, Prada – which has firmly denied discrimination – has pledged to “internal re-education, engaging in financial and employment outreach with minority communities, and submitting to external monitoring of its progress for the next two years”, according to The New York Times.
These measures will include sensitivity training, focusing on “racial equity training” for all 120 New York employees, as well as the Milan-based senior executives – as the decisions made at the Prada HQ will influence what happens in the label’s NY stores. This means that Miuccia Prada, as well as her husband and Prada chief executive Patrizio Bertelli, will undertake the training. They will be required to report back on their progress.
The agreement also involves Prada hiring a diversity and inclusion officer, who will oversee the brand’s “designs before they are sold, advertised or promoted in any way in the United States” – a huge undertaking. In 12 months, the fashion house will be required to disclose “the demographic make-up” of its staff at every level, and summarise “Prada’s past and future activities aimed at increasing the number of people from protected classes under-represented in the fashion industry”.
Prada isn’t the only brand being investigated by the New York City Commission on Human Rights. The group has also been working with Gucci following its blackface product row, and Christian Dior over its Sauvage campaign, which perpetrated Native American stereotypes.
From Harper’s Bazaar UK