Racial Profiling Affects the Fashion Community 1


Racial Profiling Cases that Affect Black Shoppers Nationwide

There has been a long fight for racial rights in this country. There are currently several racial-profiling cases in the fashion world that have grabbed the attention of the public. Household fashion retailer’s such as Sephora, Macy’s and Barney’s New York have affected the fashion community negatively. After further research, customer complaints at beauty retailer Sephora provide fact to the racial profiling issue. These major companies have brought a major issue that is seldom spoken on to the light.

 

Alexandra Stokes, Licensed Makeup Artist states: “I believe we were profiled based on our race, age and style of dress. Completely profiled as young African Americans who weren’t going to purchase anything.”

 

Shoppers of the fashion community have been profiled. Minorities and college students report majority of racial profiling cases. The article Profiling Complaints by Black Shoppers Followed Changes to Stores’ Security Policies gives more fuel to the racial profiling market.

College students make up a general portion of the racially profiled segment. According to the article, College Students Use Racial Profiling, Too—But Clothing Choices Minimize it “107 of students (black and white) said clothes that look threatening on a black person look acceptable on people of other races.”

A short interview with licensed makeup artist, Alexandra Stokes gives an inside look into the experience of a career professional treated like a criminal due to an assumption. Stokes suffered racial profiling while shopping in Sephora, a makeup retailer located in Owings Mills, MD.

"Q&A Interview with Licensed Makeup Artist, Alexandra Stokes, Saturday November 3, 2013, in Baltimore, MD. (IamJournalistBurks, Ashley Burks)"

“Q&A Interview with Licensed Makeup Artist, Alexandra Stokes, Saturday November 3, 2013, in Baltimore, MD. (IamJournalistBurks, Ashley Burks)”

Racial profiling is a form of discrimination by which one uses a person’s race or cultural background as the primary reason to suspect that the individual has broken the law. Civil rights activist Al Sharpton has spoken out on the issue by meeting with Barneys NY CEO to discuss racial profiling.

"Sephora store in Towson town center in Towson, MD, Saturday November 3, 2013, in Baltimore, MD. (IamJournalistBurks, Ashley Burks)"

“Sephora store in Towson town center in Towson, MD, Saturday November 3, 2013, in Baltimore, MD. (IamJournalistBurks, Ashley Burks)”

Racially profiled customers lash back by writing reviews on Sephora associates “stalking” customers in the store. Along the way Sephora has lost customers that once shopped their establishments. Stokes states: “I was loyal customer prior to my profiling incident. I have not returned to that particular Sephora location.”

Raymel Cardona and Aaron Argueta will meet with New York’s attorney general as part of a probe into recent racial profiling complaints from African-American shoppers at Barneys and Macy’s”, sources said.

The State of the African-American Consumer Report found that black buying power is projected to reach $1.1 trillion by 2015, The Louisiana Weekly reportsBeauty Product Buyers are nearly twice as likely as the average consumer to be a DIY-enthusiast, 80% more likely to drive an SUV and 70% more likely to be “body-conscious.”

"Beauty shopper buying habits infographic, Saturday November 3, 2013, in Baltimore, MD. (IamJournalistBurks, Ashley Burks)"

“Beauty shopper buying habits infographic, Saturday November 3, 2013, in Baltimore, MD. (IamJournalistBurks, Ashley Burks)”

Racial profiling is nothing new to the fashion industry. This past month several cases have been brought to the attention of the public. Customers are speaking out by way of social media and online media outlets.

 

"Sephora customer complaint, Saturday November 3, 2013, in Baltimore, MD. (IamJournalistBurks, Ashley Burks)"

“Sephora customer complaint, Saturday November 3, 2013, in Baltimore, MD. (IamJournalistBurks, Ashley Burks)”

"Sephora customer complaints, Saturday November 3, 2013, in Baltimore, MD. (IamJournalistBurks, Ashley Burks)"

“Sephora customer complaints, Saturday November 3, 2013, in Baltimore, MD. (IamJournalistBurks, Ashley Burks)”

Retailers call it securing their merchandise from shoplifters. Employees of most retail establishments are trained to watch for suspicious customers or activity on the sales floor. In most cases, employees are told to follow these suspicious customers or to call security to deter theft in the store.

Store associates stalk and in some cases confront shoppers if they believe they are stealing merchandise based on their race or appearance. Retailers racially profile and scare customers by use of intimidation and threats of security.


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