Well-known brand Prada unveiled their window display with pomp and circumstance. However, the celebration didn’t last long as a civil rights attorney put a stop to it.
The campaign featured a new “creature” that appeared “part biological, one part technological, but all parts Prada.” This description is not what is causing the problem.
The problem is that the color and facial structure of the new “creatures”, in one lawyer’s opinion, brings to mind that of blackface.
Chinyere Ezie, an attorney for the nonprofit Center for Constitutional Rights stated: “I don’t make a lot of public posts, but right now I am shaking with anger.”
It seems that Ezie was returning from a recent visit at the Smithsonian Museum, which had featured an exhibit based on blackface. As it would happen, Ezie’s travel would take her past the Prada window in New York City.
To her surprise, the window held an exhibit that Ezie stated contained the “very same racist and denigrating blackface imagery.”
When asked about the “creatures”, Prada stated they were Pradamalia—also know as the tiny creatures that had been able to escape the Prada labs.
According to Prada’s website, which gives a little more information behind the tiny creatures, there is more to them than meets the eye. It would seem that each has its own supernatural power as well as its very own quirk. The little fantasy creatures are said to have lived their lives in isolation in the Prada labs
In response to Ezie’s claims, Prada apologized and stated they abhorred racist imagery. They also stated that the creatures were made up of different aspects of Prada oeuvre. They were created to be creatures of fantasy, with no real ties or place in the real world, and certainly not to be seen as blackface.
However, the hurt and anger that Ezie experienced were more than just from the window displays. She stated she entered the Prada store, with a co-worker, only to be assaulted time after time with representations of the same Sambo imagery and blackface elements.
Many commentators have expressed sentiments equal to Ezies, calling the creatures unbelievable, hurtful, and absolutely inexcusable.
What do you think? Were the elements of the display window meant to be seen as blackface, or as Prada claimed merely fantasy creatures not connected with the real world? Should Prada have had to take the elements down as they did?