Prada Accessories Recalled Over Blackface Controversy

A poorly-designed monkey keychain ignited the furor.

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Fashion
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Mere days after Miuccia Prada accepted the British Fashion Council’s “Outstanding Achievement Award,” the luxury house that bears her name is the center of controversy. Much like H&M’s “Coolest Monkey in the Jungle” gaffe earlier this year, the outcry centers around a racist caricature deemed by many to be deserving of swift boycott.

Otto Toto, one of the Pradamalia series’ collectible keychains, is the monkey-inspired design that incited the criticism. Sporting a dark wooden body and oversized red lips, the character, particularly the ones in Prada’s SoHo store window, too closely resemble a racist Sambo figure for many Twitter users’ liking. As @landybugnyc put it: “Have you all lost your minds? Are you all that ignorant of the blatant racist display in your store right now?!”

Unlike the Dolce & Gabbana firestorm, Prada met the backlash with an apology and recall. The Pradamalia figures are “not intended to have any reference to the real world and certainly not blackface,” the Italian house tweeted. “In this interest, we will withdraw the characters in question from display and circulation.”

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