Illustration for article titled Barneys Settles 2013 Racial Profiling Lawsuit

Barneys and the city of New York have settled all claims regarding a racial profiling lawsuit brought on by a college student two years ago. Trayon Christian, who was 19 at the time, was falsely accused by the department store of credit card fraud when he purchased a $349 Ferragamo belt.


While the city has agreed to pay Christian $45,000, the amount of the settlement with Barneys was not disclosed, reports Women’s Wear Daily.

In April 2013, Christian visited the department store to purchase the Ferragamo belt he had seen his favorite rappers wear. After leaving the store, he was stopped by two undercover NYPD detectives who questioned him about his purchase.


“They said my card wasn’t real, it was fake. They said someone at Barneys called to report it,” Christian told New York Daily News at the time. “The detectives were asking me, ‘How could you afford a belt like this? Where did you get this money from?’” he said. He was detained by police for two hours.

After Christian’s case became public, a nursing student named Kayla Phillips came forward with her own Barneys discrimination story. Phillips, who is also black, was detained after purchasing a $2,500 Céline bag at the store in February 2013.


Following these two incidents, Barneys was investigated by the New York state Attorney General. In 2014, the department store agreed to pay $525,000 in fees and penalties and re-train their employees. They were also required to hire an “anti-profiling consultant.”

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