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.

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

Latest in Style