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Diary of a Mad White Black Woman – Buyer’s Remorse

November 4, 2013

Dear Diary,

I finally caught up on this Barney’s kerfluffle. Apparently, the chain has hired a civil rights expert to investigate their policies and determine if they’re in the wrong. This all started a couple of weeks ago when a 19-year-old African-American man, Trayon Christian purchased a $349 Ferragamo belt. Outside the store, undercover police officers detained him because they got a tip that the card he used to by the belt was fraudulent. Christian was held in a cell for a couple of hours before being released sans charges.

Shortly after that, a 21-year-old black woman, Kayla Phillips told the press that she experienced a similar incident when she bought a $2,500 Celine handbag. Her temporary debit card didn’t have a name on it; and though the sale went through, police surrounded Phillips after she left the store.

After reading about both of these stories, I was, natch, horrified and embarrassed.

These folks were so close to being model Oreos, then ruined it by making the wrong purchases. I blame myself for not being more vigilant.

Sure, going into a Barney’s with intent to buy is a great first step, but you’ve got to follow it through by picking up the right items.

This is the belt that Christian tried to buy.

And try not to buy something so black. That's just doubling down on a negative.

And try not to buy something so black. That’s just doubling down on a negative.

It’s reversible. Nothing says “not quite up to snuff” like being reversible. He might as well been picking through a bin of hypercolor shirts. Next time, try a Paul Smith contrast-stitch belt and add a pocket square. Trust me, including a $200 16-inch quadrilateral of pashmina to any purchase will throw everyone off the scent.

Second: A handbag? A whole handbag? When you’re black and you’re buying something that big, it looks like you’re just trying to find a place to hide your pressing comb and welfare baby. Instead, get a clutch. An Edie Parker, a Tila March – the smaller the better. If all you can fit inside is one credit card, that’s fine. Just make sure it has your appropriately hyphenated name on it.

We don’t go to Barney’s for function. We go to Barney’s to make a point. I hope that these points are more strongly made in future.

They should take heart though. Sometimes, even the brightest Oreos make the simple mistakes.

****************

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5 comments

  1. seems like so called “Oreos” are gonna get hit by this the hardest… Oreos tend to pride themselves on going where black folks don’t go and doing things black folks don’t do… Seems like that is a red flag now… If you’re black and at a movie you shouldn’t be… the cops are getting called. Buying clothes that aren’t for you? here come the cops… eating at a restaurant too fine for your skin… well here comes the law… Doesn’t matter if you got money… they will take your money then call the cops…


  2. I am very impressed with you my dear. Your expertise on navigating different currents and shoals of high end, luxury, and may I add, over priced and pretentious, retail shopping is nothing short of extraordinary. Knowledge like this is usually to sole domain of a much older, RWP (Real White Person, Vanilla Wafer?). So rejoice having reached the pinnacle Western society and culture.


    • Thank you. Thank you so much. *sobs


  3. […] It’s obviously fun to blend in. I’ve spent a lot of years, a lot of dollars and perfected a lot of grimaces at the salon to do so. I mean, who doesn’t want to look like you belong, to get the invitations to THE events and to not be shoved on the ground just because you bought an overpriced belt. […]


  4. […] is nothing to get up in arms about. Set yourself apart from the RBP who get upset at a routine shop and frisk by putting the program in your Balenciaga and popping the collar on your Isabel Marant Ego […]



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