A slew of Instagram comments also called out Anthropologie for culturally appropriating products and predominantly hiring white employees.
- Anthropologie has issued an official response on Instagram to allegations of racial discrimination.
- Instagrammers have accused the brand of racial profiling, using a code name for shoppers, and lacking diversity in hiring.
- The microinfluencer Lydia Okello also challenged Anthropologie after saying on Instagram that the brand asked them to work unpaid on a campaign.
- Visit Business Insider's homepage for more stories.
Anthropologie is the latest fashion retailer facing allegations of racial discrimination.
The brand on June 1 published a Maya Angelou quote to its Instagram feed and stressed that people were "equal in value no matter their color," but followers expressed unhappiness for what they deemed a vague response that didn't specifically address the Black Lives Matter movement.
Multiple commenters also shared stories saying they were racially profiled in Anthropologie stores and accusing the company of using the code word "Nick" to refer to Black shoppers.
"Anthro's culture needs to be seriously reformed," wrote one user, who said the brand's company culture was a systemic issue. "The 'Nick' codeword for Black shoppers that has been corroborated by unrelated former employees? Come on."
Later that week, the brand responded with a post promising to stand with and support the Black community, including donating $100,000 to the United Negro College Fund and a commitment to diversifying its workforce.
But allegations of racist practices and "whitewashing" continued, with people accusing Anthropologie of culturally appropriating products and predominantly hiring white employees.
The influencer Lydia Okello then took to their Instagram on Monday, saying they were asked to work unpaid on a Pride-month campaign.
On Thursday, Anthropologie officially responded to all the criticism via Instagram with several slides of text.
"You may have seen that we have been challenged to be more transparent, unbiased, and fair in our stores and with our business practices," the statement began. It went on to say the company didn't have a code word and had a zero-tolerance policy for racial profiling but was learning how to combat racism. "We are committed to doing better — to be being better," it said.
If you're an Anthropologie, Urban Outfitters, or Free People employee or someone with a story to tell, contact this reporter via email at firstname.lastname@example.org