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.
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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