Moschino are being sued for racially profiling black customers
8 January 2019, 14:39 | Updated: 8 January 2019, 15:06
A former Moschino employee is reportedly taking the Italian brand to court over claims that they had code names for black customers.
According to documents obtained by TMZ, Shamael Lataillade alleged that her supervisor at the clothing company referred to black shoppers as "Serenas" to identify which ones had the cash to shop and which ones didn't. Although the reason "Serenas" was chosen for the code isn't directly referred to, it is allegedly in reference to tennis pro Serena Williams.
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Shamael – who worked at the West Hollywood, Los Angeles, store – claims the supervisor told employees to tell "Serenas" they were out of stock on many items and watch them more closely than white shoppers, especially if they weren't wearing diamonds or designer labels. The police were even called to report a suspicious black customer, which actually turned out to be a high-profile rapper, who she chose not to name.
Shamael – who is a black, Haitian-American woman – went on to allege that she herself was discriminated against and eventually dismissed from her role. The supervisor in question reportedly mocked her for practicing voodoo, the unofficial religion of Haiti. And when she spoke up about the discrimination and "Serena" code she was shown the door.
Interestingly, the label's creative director Jeremy Scott was inspired by "positivity, love and diversity" for his recent collaboration with H&M, while a number of black models including Naomi Campbell, Leomie Anderson, Winnie Harlow and Joan Smalls, have modelled and walked for the brand.
Shamael is now reportedly suing Moschino for unspecified damages. However, Moschino told the publication that it denies the allegations, adding that it "complies with applicable equal employment laws and values and respects all customers and clients regardless of their race or background."
PopBuzz have contacted Moschino for comment.