Former Anthropologie employees say that the store racially profiles black customers and that employees should refer to them with the code name “Nicky” or “Nick.”
The fashion industry watchdog Instagram account Diet Prada compiled comments from former employers in a post. “I worked at Anthropologie and the racial profiling was sickening,” the user @fileurdeblooms wrote, starting the conversation under an Anthropologie Instagram post that quoted Maya Angelou. “So many times [management] told us to watch people of color over the headsets...” “I thought Chicago was the only ones who used ‘Nick” as a form of saying ‘watch that black woman who just walked in,’” another Instagram user @nickolas_anthony wrote.
“Literally over the headphones it would be like ‘Nicky just entered’, ‘Nicky going downstairs.’ ‘Nicky’s is in the sales section,” another commenter who says she worked at the store between 2009-2011 wrote. “I was 19 at the time and always felt so uncomfortable and sometimes would ignore the demands but then you can easily get in trouble for it.”
On Wednesday the store posted a statement to Instagram addressing the allegations, writing “we have never and will never have a code word based on a customer’s race or ethnicity.” “We are committed to doing better, to being better,” they wrote.
Jezebel has reached out to Anthropologie for further comment and will update this post when they respond.