If this is true, it’s bloody awful. And if you’ve ever been into Alexander McQueen’s Meatpacking store to wistfully stroke skull-handle umbrellas you’ll never be able to afford but wouldn’t dream of stealing so stop doing that thing with your eyebrows at me please, well, you might not have trouble believing it.
22-year-old ex-McQueen security guard Othman Ibela, a native of Gabon, is filing a lawsuit against staff at the late designer’s NYC flagship for tormenting him with racist slurs during the two years he worked there. He claims the shop’s clerk, Kimberley Mahnke, “repeatedly made jokes about me running nude in Africa with a spear in my hand,” and told him President Obama and his family would be kicked out of the White House and “sent back to Africa” after the 2012 elections, reports the New York Post.
The shop’s manager Catherine Flynn has also been named in his filing to the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, in which he claims she repeatedly asked him “why Muslims were always killing people” and mocked his accent.
Apparently things got so bad Ibela harbored thoughts of harming the staff, and himself. “They attacked me again and again,” he told The Post. “I wanted to kill them and kill myself. Then everybody would be a loser.” He was so distressed by the attacks that he required hospitalization for anxiety attacks and depression, the filing says.
And what about black customers? Ibela says they were flat-out ignored by the boutique’s staff, unless they happened to be Beyoncé.
Alexander McQueen himself was vocal about fashion’s tendency to be “really racist“, but this goes beyond appropriating cultural dress as costume, to just plain horrible.
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