Shamael Lataillade, a Black Haitian-American and former employee at Moschino boutique in West Hollywood, California, is suing the Italian luxury brand for racial discrimination.
In court documents obtained by TMZ, Lataillade alleges that employees at the store were told to follow Black clientele closely. In other instances, staff was told to lie about the availability of products when Black patrons attempted to buy items.
She also claims that the supervisor implemented a racist code word, “Serenas,” to describe Black patrons. Although not explained in the suit, the word is thought to reference tennis phenom Serena Williams, who is notably worth about $180 million.
The supervisor reportedly went so far as to record the license plate numbers of Black shoppers.
Lataillade said she was fired after she protested the use of the code word and other racist incidents, including being stereotyped as a voodooist because of her Haitian background. She is seeking unspecified damages from the luxury brand.
Moschino denied Lataillade’s claims and told the tabloid site that the company “complies with applicable equal employment laws and values and respects all customers and clients regardless of their race or background.”
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Christina Santi is a news and culture writer for EBONY.com. Born and raised in the Bronx, New York, she considers herself a well-read, not so traditional feminist with a heavy interest in music, fashion and pop culture. Christina currently lives in New York City, where she refers to her Cuban & Jamaican descent often while writing about her experiences as a first-generation Afro-Latinx in America. She also devotes time writing personalized reading material for her tutees and turning ideas into words for streetwear brand, PUER By Noel Bronson.