Prada SpA will remove certain products from its "Pradamalia" range from sale after the items were associated with "racist and denigrating blackface imagery," New York local news website Gothamist reported Dec. 14.
The controversial products were reportedly criticized as racist after a lawyer at the Center for Constitutional Rights posted photos of the items, which were on display at a Soho Prada store in New York, on Facebook.
According to the report, the products resemble images of blackface, which is widely viewed as racist.
In a statement to the news site, the Italian fashion house reportedly said: "Prada Group abhors racist imagery. The Pradamalia are fantasy charms composed of elements of the Prada oeuvre. They are imaginary creatures not intended to have any reference to the real world and certainly not blackface. We abhor all forms of racism and racist imagery. We will withdraw all of the characters in question from display and circulation."
The incident is the latest in a string of recent controversies in the fashion industry centering on race and ethnicity. In January, H & M Hennes & Mauritz AB apologized for a controversial advertisement that featured a black child wearing a sweatshirt that says "coolest monkey in the jungle" and eventually removed the product from sale. Dolce & Gabbana Industria SpA also recently faced backlash in China after it launched an ad campaign featuring a Chinese model having difficulty eating Italian dishes with a pair of chopsticks.