Prada Pulls Monkey Designs Following Outcry Over Racist Imagery

The luxury store has apologized for a set of monkey trinkets, which bore a resemblance to a racist caricature.


Image via Getty/Joel Sagat/AFP


Luxury brands keep messing up.

Weeks after Dolce & Gabbana's racist ad controversyPrada has launched into damage control following outrage over a set of racially insensitive figurines. The products, which were a part of the Pradamalia collection, depicted a dark-colored monkey with enlarged red lips—a design that echoed blackface imagery commonly used in the Jim Crow era. 

People were quick to criticize Prada for the ill-conceived pieces, pointing out that the trinkets bore a strong resemblance to "Little Black Sambo," a 1800s book character that perpetuated racist stereotypes and dehumanized blacks.

Chinyere Ezie, an attorney for the Center for Constitutional Rights, expressed her outrage on Facebook.

"I don’t make a lot of public posts, but right now I’m shaking with anger," Ezie wrote, after seeing the figurines at the Prada SoHo location.

In wake of the backlash, Prada has released a statement apologizing for the accessories and announced that they have since been pulled the items from stores.

NEW: Workers at Prada SoHo scramble to remove display depicting blackface characters after onslaught of criticism online @PIX11News

— Andrew Ramos (@AndrewRamosTV) December 14, 2018

The label tweeted they never intended offend anyone, nor did they purposely reference blackface.

[1/2] #Prada Group abhors racist imagery. 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 (@Prada) December 14, 2018

[2/] #Prada Group never had the intention of offending anyone and we abhor all forms of racism and racist imagery. In this interest we will withdraw the characters in question from display and circulation.

— PRADA (@Prada) December 14, 2018

Latest in Style