Prada will stop selling monkey keychains decried as racist

Prada pulls products accused of blackface imagery	 	 	 			The Prada display. Credit Chinyere Ezie

Prada used Blackface imagery for their "Pradamalia" collection, which is available online and is in at least one of their New York City storefronts.

"I entered the store with a coworker, only to be assaulted with more and more bewildering examples of their Sambo like imagery", Chinyere Ezie, an attorney for the Center for Constitutional Rights, wrote on Facebook.

The company came under a firestorm of criticism on social media over the dolls, which resemble Jim Crow-era caricatures of black folks.

The Pradamalia line of products was debuted by Prada last month and are described as "a new family of mysterious tiny creatures that are one part biological, one part technological, all parts Prada", according to their website.

"They are imaginary creatures not meant to have any reference to the real world and certainly not blackface", the statement read.

That is where Chinyere Ezie saw the display, took pictures and posted about the experience on Facebook.

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In a post that has been shared over 7,380 times in the last 24 hours, Ezie ends by imploring, "History can not continue to repeat itself". Anybody who is familiar with history will immediately recognize this character, as it immediately draws to mind many hurtful stereotypes that have been directed at black people through racist blackface portrayals and references to monkeys.

Ezie's post points out the resemblance between Prada's "toys" and depictions of blackface in American history, in particular, the character of Little Black Sambo.

Jeff B tweeted: "Prada's Blackface collection is inexcusable, especially given all of the profit they make off of Black culture and Black people".

"Prada Group abhors racist imagery", the company said in the statement, posted on Twitter.

In the U.S., slave owners justified slavery by saying black people were genetically like monkeys. Outrage at the video eventually resulted in a boycott of the brand and cancellation of their impending fashion show after co-designer Stefano Gabbana's xenophobic messages were leaked. After harsh backlash, the brand just announced its decision to pull the controversial products from stores. Soho store were removed on Friday morning. "In this interest, we will withdraw all of the characters in question from display and circulation".

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