Luxury shoe company Gianvito Rossi is the latest retailer accused of racism towards its employees and customers which unfortunately includes alleged racial remarks made towards Serena Williams.
According to a racial discrimination suit filed by former manager Whitney Wilburn claims that her boss Grace Mazzilli, was “immediately hostile” to the former employee “based upon her race and age” after she was hired to run the Madison Ave. store back in 2015.
The 46-year-old claims she was fired “without warning or final evaluation” back in January and blames it on “Mazzilli’s racial animosity toward African Americans.”
She uses an incident where tennis champion Serena Williams tried to receive a discount for her purchase but was called “disgusting” instead.
“For instance, when the world famous athlete Serena Williams, via her staff, asked for a discount on her extensive purchases, Gianvito managers responded with racially disparaging comments about Ms. Williams which made it clear that the company did not want African American women to wear its shoes,” the suit says.
The managers “referred to Ms. Williams as ‘disgusting’ and refused to offer any discount,” according to court papers.
“When later pressured to do so by a contact at Vogue magazine, they offered only a fraction of the discount that white celebrities typically receive,” the suit says.
The suit also claims that Mazzilli would only throw events that included “elaborate dinner parties and social events” for boutiques only ran but white employees and says she never threw an event at Wilburn’s location.
There has been no word back from Mazzilli for the suit but apparently she’s off vacationing somewhere in Italy.
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