Barneys has canceled a planned kick-off event for "A New York Holiday," its collaboration with Jay Z, as calls for the rapper to end his partership with the high-end retailer continue to grow.
The party, which Barneys was sponsoring at an off-site location, was scheduled for Wednesday, and was intended to be a fundraiser for Jay's Shawn Carter Foundation. A spokesperson for Barneys tells the New York Daily News that the event was canceled "due to unforeseen circumstances."
Whether or not those "unforeseen circumstances" included the accusation of racial profiling levied by two shoppers against Barneys — and the criticisms Jay Z has received for continuing to work with the store — was not clear. Last month, Jay said he was holding off on deciding the fate of his BNY SCC Gallery collection (sales of which benefit underprivileged students through his Carter Foundation) until he had met with Barneys, community leaders and the New York State Attorney General's Office to discuss treatment of minority shoppers.
The CEO of Barneys soon apologized for his company's actions, and, on Friday, Jay released a statement saying he intended to move forward with the collection, under the condition that he now has a leadership role on a council "specifically convened to deal with the issue of racial profiling."
"I am in a unique position to use my voice to affect change to this disturbing issue," Jay wrote on his Life and Times website. "The easy position would have been to walk away and leave policy making to others hoping that someone addresses the problem. I will not leave the outcome to others. I will take this into my own hands with full power to recommend, review and revise policies and guidelines moving forward. I am choosing to take this head on."
Additionally, Jay announced that the Shawn Carter Foundation would now receive 100 percent of the proceeds from the BNY SCC collection (originally, it was set to receive 25 percent, with Barneys getting the remaining 75), and that the Foundation will also receive an additional 10 percent of all retail sales from Barneys stores nationwide and Barneys.com on November 20th.