Chanel is sorry that Gabourey Sidibe ‘felt unwelcome and offended’ at their store

Last week, Gabourey Sidibe published an essay in Lenny, Lena Dunham’s email newsletter, in which she described being discriminated against at a Chanel boutique, where she came to buy glasses frames and some sandals which Taraji P. Henson had asked for. The saleslady initially told her to buy glasses at another shop across the street and then, when Gabby was recognized by additional staff, she was told that the glasses would work as frames not just as sunglasses, and given decent service. She knew she was being turned away for her appearance, she was dressed very well and she wrote that she was uncertain if it was because she was black or because she was a larger person. She also described how she’s come to expect this type of discrimination in stores as it’s happened her whole life, and she wondered whether to complain because she’s used to it. Many of you wrote about your experiences shopping while black and how you’ve been followed and had items snatched from you and it was eye opening to me. Thank you for sharing that and I’m sorry that happens to you so regularly, it’s outrageous and I can’t imagine how that would feel.

More than anything I came away from Gabby’s essay with a better understanding of what it’s like to try to get customer service as a person of color, and everything was so well written and thoughtful that I also got a glimpse of the guilt and shame that falls on someone who is subjected to it. It’s not over for people when they step out of that sh-tty store. After that they have to decide whether to say anything.

Well Chanel has issued an apology to Gabby and while they say the right words there’s a little something missing here for me.

Chanel expresses our sincerest regret for the boutique customer service experience that Ms. Sidibe mentioned in this essay. We are sorry that she felt unwelcome and offended. We took her words very seriously and immediately investigated to understand what happened, knowing that this is absolutely not in line with the high standards that Chanel wishes to provide to our customers. We are strongly committed to provide anyone who comes in our boutiques with the best customer service. We do hope that in the future Ms. Sidibe will choose to come back to a Chanel boutique and experience the real Chanel customer experience.

[via E! Online]

I like how they gave their “sincerest regret,” wrote that they took it seriously, investigated immediately and clarified that this isn’t “in line” with their standards. I would have liked to have read an additional line condemning discrimination and stating that Chanel does not tolerate customer profiling or discrimination of any kind. They did say it was unacceptable, in a roundabout way, and as far as corporate apologies go this was decent, especially compared to Pepsi, Delta, Fyre festival, etc. That bar is set extremely low though.

Photos credit: Getty

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77 Responses to “Chanel is sorry that Gabourey Sidibe ‘felt unwelcome and offended’ at their store”

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  1. Crumpet says:

    I get much less attention at most stores now because I am over 50. It’s a real feat to get any service at MAC counters, I can tell you that.

    I blame the shop owners for any of these types of discrimination. It needs to be made clear that ALL customers should be treated equally. I’m glad she spoke up and Chanel issued an ‘apology’. At least it’s a start.

    • Svea says:

      Yaaas. MAC is THE WORST. All the sales people care about is doing each others makeup. It is like the customers smell.

      • Sabrine says:

        It still keeps happening though, doesn’t it. By now you’d think they’d know how to treat customers. I am past 50, carrying extra pounds, and not a fashion plate. I walked into Sephora recently to get another Anastasia brow gel and wanted some help purchasing a good concealer. The sales girls were chatting and one reluctantly dragged herself away to assist the old lady. It was not a pleasant experience dealing with her deadpan, bored face and barely civil attitude having to help me. It’s not the first time I have experienced ageism. They probably cringe when people like me come into their store, heaven forbid the image it might portray.

      • Dex and Destruction says:

        I order MAC online only. I’ll do basically anything to avoid a store.

    • Tulip Garden says:

      I get ignored often too. I think I don’t fit the “upwardly mobile” profile and I’m mot pretentious. I am white but that doesn’t seem to help me in these “snobby” boutiques.
      It has made me feel less than and “other” but you know what? Plenty of other retailers are pleased to take my cash. While it isn’t pervasive in my life, cause I’m not a big shopper, it can be disheartening.
      It shouldn’t happen to anyone period. If I controlled the world it wouldn’t, alas my powers don’t extend that far.
      Also Gaboury is right about a person weight also making them ignored, as well as race, and a host of other things as I’ve mentioned. It is just sucks and really makes me angry. Like Gaboury, I have the funds too but I don’t “look” enough like their target or typical customers. I eschew mani/pedis, am over 45 and growing at my gray hair. And shopping isn’t a dress up occasion for me, it is a military operation with goals in sight. I feel for her, and anyone like her, in these outlandish, insulting exchanges.
      Also, if you are so elite that you don’t want browsers, require appointments or let all of us (browsers, shoppers, dreamers, or shopaholics) alone to peruse your RETAIL establishment , a-holes!

      • MoreSalt says:

        Yes to all this, in regards to how you dress. I wear jeans and a hoodie, hair in a ponytail, and I’m on a mission to buy things. The joy is absolutely not in the journey for me. I got ignored in three stores trying to buy a damn bracelet for my mother – and I’m not talking Chanel. (Very Midwest middle/upper-middle class area)

        Vera Bradely, Brighton, and Alex and Ani. Every time, ignored for the girls in the North Face coats or VS outfits. The woman at Nordstrom was very nice and got my business. It took 5 minutes of her time and I left a very happy customer.

      • Snowflake says:

        Yeah, sales people profile constantly. I used to go shopping with a gf who always wore the latest brands. She would get waited on, while they ignored me. I also work in car sales and profiling is very common. Which is stupid, I’ve sold people who looked ratty and they paid cash for a vehicle. And I’ve also had customers in designer clothes, pulling up in a bmw, who were buried in negative equity, and trying to get out of it

      • Deering says:

        And the retail industry wonders why it’s on the ropes. :p I have suspected for a while that the online shopping boom was driven in good part by customers fed up with classist/racist/ageist or generally insulting service. Someone should do a poll to confirm.

      • Kitten says:

        “And shopping isn’t a dress up occasion for me, it is a military operation with goals in sight.”

        Me too, Tulip!

    • TQB says:

      And it’s SOOOOO dumb, too! Who has more disposable income to spend on cosmetics? You do!

    • Pumpkin Pie says:

      MAC has a very bad costumer service reputation, there are many rant videos on YT. Personally, I have never had problems with them, but I had with LUSH. I don’t go there anymore and I don’t miss their products which are good but overpriced over here. Like double compared to the US.

    • tigerlily says:

      I hear you. I am 57 (soon to be 58) and not only am I “old” (in minds of sales clerks) but I am overweight! And part Native which in Western Canada….well it is the last “acceptable” racism . One time I went to a MAC counter with my bestie who is also “older”, overweight and more obviously Native than me……the sales clerks followed us closely because why?

      I go to one MAC counter now where they know me and know that I buy a ton of product and I get some bit of respect.

      As for Chanel, I have never purchased any of their over priced crap and never will. The sales clerks that were dismissive to Gabourey probably can’t afford the products either even with discounts.

    • WhichWitch says:

      I experience this often in London – in particular Selfridges- where most sales assistants will only serve you if you look like ‘money’ (i.e usually Gulf or wearing the right it-bag).

      • Retty says:

        +1 billion!
        I worked as a manager in Selfridges for 2 years. Sales staff were actively discouraged from profiling customers but it happened all day long. The funny thing is, the people who they ignored were the ones who were the serious customers. Part of the problem was that the staff were younger and equated a certain ‘look’ with money and they were in most cases wrong! It drove me up a wall!!

      • Felicia says:

        London in general drove me crazy for exactly this reason. I’m a jeans and t-shirt kind of person, unless I have a reason to dress up and then I do. I’m quite fine with that. People (not just sales people) judge you on your shoes and your handbag. Given that most of the people who judge that way are up to their eyeballs in debt for appearances (and making the banks wealthy, rather than themselves by doing so), it was a good way to weed out fake people. And there were a whole lot of them. Kind of sad really, and more than a lot annoying given our situation. But really…what’s the point of “flouting” that to people who don’t look past your appearance? They’re small and unkind and even if they realize that you are “worthy” of their attention, they’re not people who are worth knowing. They’ll still be small and unkind, but will think they can use you in some way to boot.

  2. Dex and Destruction says:

    On top of mentioning what actually took place, a.k.a. discrimination, Chanel should have also explicitly stated they are/have been talking to the salesperson in question. Allegedly releasing a blank statement to employees on how to be nice to customers just doesn’t cut it.

    • Luca76 says:

      Yes how about some diversity training. I worked in retail a long time ago and we contstantly had to do different trainings.Not a big deal to put together a 15 minute video on diversity.

      • Dlo says:

        These places are not interested in diversity. They only want young rich skinny clients

      • Belle Epoch says:

        Too much emphasis on “boutique.” I actually think this apology is telling all their rich, skinny customers not to be afraid that a large POC (two strikes) will be disrupting their boutique (e.g. tiny) shopping in the future.

      • Dex and Destruction says:

        My ex-husband used to apologize by saying, “I’m sorry that YOU got mad about blah, blah, blah.” It annoyed the hell out of me because he wasn’t taking responsibility for HIS actions. Instead, it was essentially my fault for having an emotion or feeling about him and/or the situation.

        I think Chanel did the same thing in this incident with Gabby: “We are sorry that she felt unwelcome and offended.” Chanel is sorry that Gabby got offended? How dare she!

        Maybe it’s semantics, maybe it’s not. Maybe it’s just Chanel.

      • Who ARE These People? says:

        Dex and … it’s not you. You’re exactly on target about the problem with faux apologies. The world will be an easier place when people who hurt other people take responsibility for their words and their actions. Companies do worry about being sued but in this case, the discrimination was subtle and covert (as it often is) and they have nothing to fear but damage to their reputation.

      • littlemissnaughty says:

        But Chanel et al. don’t want their customers to be diverse. This entire thing was no accident. A heavier black woman is not their desired target customer. They don’t want her walking down the street in Chanel, Hermes, Prada. That’s all there is to it. They’re not going to change because this IS their brand strategy.

        I know a woman my age who’s been working as store manager for numerous luxury brands for about 10 years. The stories. This is their policy, make no mistake.

    • justcrimmles says:

      @Dex, yup yup yup. The non apology. Don’t be sorry Gabby has feelings, Chanel, be sorry that some of your employees are shitty humans. Be sorry that she was treated less than on your watch. None of this sorry you felt offended, be sorry that she WAS offended. How have we made it all the way to 2017 as humans, and yet this is still too hard a concept to grasp?!

    • fritanga says:

      Chanel is not changing its policy. This is exactly like Hermes turning away Oprah Winfrey. They just do not want to deal with whom they deem the old, the ethnic, the poor, the not nouveau riche, so they put out this lame “apology” which means nothing. Considering everyone worships money in this country and abroad, that’s a fairly stupid, self-annihilating policy to follow.

      • Felicia says:

        I don’t think the Hermes story was actually discrimination. She showed up at or just after closing and they were setting up for a photo shoot in the store, assuming I remember that correctly. There may have still been customers in the store but I doubt they would have let any new customers in regardless of their colour. The story of the high end Tom Ford bag in (Switzerland?) was clearly profiling though.

  3. Aims says:

    This reminds me of the story about how Oprah got discrimination at a store in Paris . It’s disgusting and outrageous . To be actively discriminated against is disturbing but not surprising . I’m really losing faith in humanity .

    • doofus says:

      totally.

      “We are sorry that she felt unwelcome and offended.”

      we are sorry that WE MADE HER FEEL unwelcome and that WE OFFENDED HER.

      “…knowing that this is absolutely not in line with the high standards that Chanel wishes to provide to our customers.”

      …knowing that this is absolutely not in line with the high standards that Chanel wishes to provide to our THIN, WHITE customers.

      Fixed it for them. yet another non-apology apology.

  4. Tata says:

    “i am sorry you felt unwelcome and offended” is not a real apology.

    A real apology would be I am sorry we made you feel unwelcome and that we offended you.

    • Dlo says:

      We need a like button! ☺

    • doofus says:

      oh, snap, said the same thing just above. should have read down one more comment.

      oh well, great minds and all that.

    • Macscore says:

      EXACTLY, Tata! THIS is what’s wrong with the apology. It’s as if it’s _her_ fault because “she felt unwelcome”, and it doesn’t go anywhere near far enough in taking responsibility and censuring the behaviour of the shop assistant at all!
      I’m sure we’ve all heard these fake apologies at some point in our lives…. “I’m sorry you feel that way…” No, asshole, I “feel that way” because YOU behaved like a jerk.

    • CeeCee says:

      Yes exactly! I hate when the party apologizing lays it back on the person harmed. It completely negates the actual apology. Thank you Tata!

  5. SchnauzerFluff says:

    In the bottom picture she looks very, very different. Is that make up/expression or did she zellweger her eyes? I wouldn’t recognize her if her name wasn’t on the article.

  6. Tan says:

    As far as owning up and apologies go , I would say it was a decent one. That’s how low the corporate apology bar is set.

    It would be interesting to note how it is followed up
    Whether only Sidibe will be treated better in future or this would expand to all the customers across color and size.

  7. Lakelover says:

    While I do believe that she was discriminated against as a black woman. I also believe that being a larger woman was also a factor. I feel that judgement all the time and I’m white.

    • Tulip Garden says:

      Aaarrrgggh, didn’t read all the comments before I ranted upthread! You are right and I can relate.

  8. I Choose Me says:

    Doubt she would have gotten an apology if she wasn’t a celebrity. Good on Gabourey for speaking out. On a superficial note, I find her so pretty. Lovely eyes and smile.

  9. Who ARE These People? says:

    No. You don’t feel sorry for “an experience.” No experience was harmed in the selling of that purse. You feel sorry that somebody working in your employ CREATED that negative experience for someone. You don’t regret another person’s feelings. You regret the wrong or the harm your employee or your policies or your company culture (allegedly) did or created, which resulted in a customer’s hurt feelings.

    “We take seriously your complaint about discrimination and regret you were made to feel unwelcome in our store. We will do everything in our power to educate and train our employees to welcome all customers with the utmost in courtesy and without reservation.”

  10. littlemissnaughty says:

    Chanel is the worst. And yes, it is completely in line with their customer service standards. I’m in my early 30s, white, good income but not so good that I can afford Chanel. And I was treated like dirt by some teenage intern at Prada once. I almost slapped her. I went in with my sister a few times (carrying an expensive bag) and my god, the difference. To be treated well in one of these stores here (Germany) you need to show your money a.k.a. wear something crazy expensive, be Asian or look vaguely Middle-Eastern. Then you can walk in wearing a trash bag. These stores aren’t even wrong in trying to pinpoint who’s the most likely to spend tons of cash there (in my city these stores make about 80% of their profit from Asian, Middle-Eastern or Russian tourists) but they are so often so wrong in weeding out the “just looking” customers. And they are terrible assh*les about it.

    If I get treated like a nuisance, I can’t even begin to imagine what a black person in the US endures. It must have been awful in that store for Gabourey.

    • Tan says:

      I am south Asian, early 30s, decent money, live in Germany.Enough to afford high end branded makeup and middle range branded bags and dresses ( ralph Lauren, Michael Kors: you get it)and I did see the discrimination I faced when I went in with my work Rucksack and when I went in with a decent ladies handbag.

      Also I look much younger than my age, almost always end up going to stores after a long work day looking frazzled. These people pay way to much attention on outside appearance. Even sometimes handing out a high range credit card is not enough.

      To be honest, teenage interns / younger service people in general are more rude than the elder one. They lack the experience and it is the general irreverence of the Youth for anything that does not conform to their standard.

      • littlemissnaughty says:

        I didn’t use the word “Asian” correctly to be honest. Chinese. I meant Chinese tourists and anyone who looks like them. Who spend TONS of money here. If you mean south Asian as in Indian, Pakistani etc. then oh hell yes, I can just imagine.

        But it doesn’t really matter. They should all learn to treat anyone who walks in the same. I have no problem if they start fawning over someone with a black Amex but don’t treat me like dirt. I might be a future customer.

        I have also noticed a difference when I go in and know exactly what I want. I did that once because I was buying a present for a family member to give to his wife. So money was no issue and it was like they could smell it. I was wearing ratty Chucks and a mid-range priced purse but they KNEW I wanted to buy.

    • vauvert says:

      All high end stores are the same. I had to go into Cartier to get my watch serviced and I don’t fit their “image” either – mid forties, dressed OK but not head to toe Chanel or anything. Might have been carrying a Vuitton purse, might not.
      Anyway, half of the sales force is Asian in the downtown TO store to cater to their clientele and I swear they were all chatting to one another and completely ignoring me while I stood by waiting for service. I finally had to go and ask someone for help – to replace the battery in a $20K watch. She was still snotty – I wasn’t wearing any big jewelry – I normally don’t when I bloody go shopping, since I consider it a bore.
      They’re better at Burberry, and the old Cartier staff used to be lovely (when we shopped for wedding rings at least they were, even though we ended up not buying because I was very specific about wanting a Canadian, no blood diamond). Vuitton staff is not too bad, I guess it depends who you get – and once they access your customer account and see how much you’ve spent they become positively gushy. I used to shop at Holt Renfrew (our version of Saks) and generally they were OK. Even when I went in jeans and a tee they would help, and some were positively lovely. But yes, in general, unless you are made up to the nines, in killer Louboutin heels and wearing a 4 carat diamond – they ignore you or help you with a very condescending attitude. It makes you want to remind them that they are, after all, sales people. They don’t own the store.

    • Aren says:

      All of that sounds so exhausting, good thing I don’t like wearing anything from any big brands. I even get mad at small stores if I feel mistreated, I can’t imagine returning to a place that treats me poorly and spend thousands of dollars there.

    • Tan says:

      LittleMissNaughty:

      Yes You are right.
      If you know exactly what you want and go straight for it, they usually tend to behave nicely.

      I mostly shop online these days, because the endless hours I can spend browsing and selecting is just not possible in stores. They are always in a hurry and offer really half hearted suggestions if you ask for one.

      I used to stick to some stores before but now I tend to not waste much time . If one store don’t offer nice service, good bye.

  11. PunkyMomma says:

    Chanel is terrible. So is Louis Vuitton.

    We used to have a Saks charge back in the day when my hairdresser worked at the Red Door Salon. My husband went to buy me a bottle of perfume, and no one would wait on him – he was wearing ratty jeans. He finally caught the attention of someone in the men’s department, who escorted hubby back to the fragrance area. When my husband told the chastised clerk what fragrance he wanted, the woman said “You know that’s over $100.00? At this point my husband waved the Saks credit card from his wallet, stuck the card back into his wallet, waved his American Express Platinum card at them, put that back in his wallet, and slapped two Benjamins on the counter. He was furious. The gentleman from the men’s department APOLOGIZED profusely, the fragrance clerks continued to turn there noses up at him.

    He never went back and we closed the account with a letter detailing his experience.

    We did receive a call from someone in New York, apologizing with the excuse that he was mistaken to be an “aspirational” customer, i.e., a “wanna be”. Even that was insulting.

    • Tulip Garden says:

      This happened to my husband when he went in work boots and jeans to purchase a Brahmin purse for me! He said the attitudes changed completely when he made his selections, purse and matching wallet, and took them to the register. Really people, that’s the best we can do? Hubby was ultimately treated like a valued costumer but not by virtue of being human. He ultimately laughed it off but, yeah, socio-econimically profiled and failed 🙄

  12. Tania says:

    I’m a 41 year old white lady, on the heavier side. I feel invisible at times in stores (and in life in general, at times). To the point that I ask myself, what is it about me that doesn’t deserve respect or attention. I have a great job, make thoroughly decent money but getting help at stores is like pulling teeth.

    • Pumpkin Pie says:

      Don’t feel invisible, be assertive and demand their attention. It is their job to attend you and they should be grateful they have costumers. All costumers deserve respect.
      Most people can lose weight but very few can grow good character and values.
      You win.

  13. Pedro45 says:

    Chanel is sorry they got called out for doing what they probably do in their stores every day–make people who don’t fit their brand image feel less than.

  14. paranormalgirl says:

    I had an experience at Ralph Lauren once. I ran in straight from yoga to pick up a dress I had previously purchased and had been altered. They were dismissive of me when I entered, and when I finally got some assistance, they checked my ID twice before handing over the dress. I heard one saleswoman say “she must have spent all her savings on that dress, poor dear.” No, I just happened to pass the store on my way home from yoga. Other than my attire at the time, I would appear to fit their demographics and I got treated poorly. I can’t even begin to imagine the treatment someone outside their insular little box would receive. And that nopology? Pure corporate bullshit doublespeak. Own up to the fact that YOUR employee made a customer feel like crap. She didn’t give herself that feeling, their employees did.

    • Aren says:

      That’s horrible, I would have returned the dress.

      • paranormalgirl says:

        I really needed it for a charity event that evening or I would have. Don’t shop there anymore though. I like the service far better at Burberry.

  15. fiorucci says:

    I’ve gotten the cold shoulder when I was younger and I guess I dressed like a kid? I rarely browsed in the fancy stores while living in France for this reason. It’s very awkward to be subtly pressured out (and i didn’t completely understand my own feelings about it, but felt stressed after every time – and they were right that I wasn’t going to buy.) They are definitely making assumptions about who will actually buy something. They don’t want to have someone browsing regularly for 10 years through high school and college before buying anything. As an overweight Black woman, Gaby has very smooth skin and i think could pass for under 15. Not saying they don’t discriminate overweight or black women who don’t look young as well, of course.
    Anyone planning to get her book?

  16. justcrimmles says:

    Jesus Christ, the stories of these shops. If ever I find myself in this position (and I doubt I will, given that most luxury brand cosmetics aren’t cruelty free, and I don’t use leather or other animal sourced items) I would be completely remiss if I didn’t remind some rude twit that a website can do their job much better. And is probably far more aesthetically pleasing than their “I work here so I have to dress like a thirsty, er, aspirational, consumer of whichever brand” look. Until then, I’ll just patiently wait until the day Kate Spade, Henri Bendel and Marc Jacobs have more cruelty free choices. Although MJ cosmetics recently did go cf, yay 😁

    Orrrrrr, maybe I should start my own “marginalized shoppers assistant service,” because dilligaf what you think of me, Ramona at the Mac counter? F#ck no. And no one else should. Plus, I feel like I have a more extensive knowledge on product than most salespeople. In short, I’m the tits and the absolute worst 😎 who wants to shop with me?

    • paranormalgirl says:

      Kat Von D makeup. Cruelty free and AWESOME!!!

      • justcrimmles says:

        Agreed! Bauhau5 is currently my favorite lip color. And don’t get me started on how long I had to wait for the Alchemist palette to come back into stock. But I did get it, so happy birthday to me 💃

  17. Addison says:

    They are only sorry because Gabby is a famous person. If it had been my co-worker who happens to be a POC and larger sized they would not care what she wrote.

    Discrimination has to stop. And I guess I never realized older women get treated differently if they are buying beauty items.

    Shameful.

  18. Ellie says:

    Chanel, MAC, etc. want the best of both worlds: to be known as egalitarian and to only see thin, young, pretty women at their counters.

  19. Lilly says:

    Kaiser Karl is on the record as disliking any shape besides pencil thin, so the apology doesn’t ring true to me. I love Choupette though and I bet Choupette, aside from the usual cat disdain, would love Gabby.

  20. Montréalaise says:

    Salespeople do size up potential customers based on whether they look like they can afford to buy, and it’s incredibly stupid and short-sighted. I learned a long time ago not to judge people’s socioeconomic status by their appearance. When I was in college, I had a summer job as a receptionist at a financial services firm which catered to very wealthy clients. One day, a shabbily-dressed man walked in – he was wearing a suit but it was obviously very cheap and was so worn out it was shiny. I wondered if he had walked into our offices by mistake. He then asked me to call the airport to find out what the weather would be that evening before being greeted warmly by one of the partners. After he left, I asked the partner who the man was and why he wanted to know about the weather at the airport – and he replied “He’s the chairman of our board, and his private jet is at the airport”.

    • Jag says:

      Exactly!

      When I was dating a Canadian guy, he took me to a little town where everyone was dressed normally to shabbily. He told me that almost everyone there was a millionaire. It was eye opening! (The little restaurant had the best fresh organic salad with edible flowers on it. Yum!)

  21. Cinderella says:

    It’s disgraceful how Gabby was treated. Not surprising though. What a shallow industry.

    If I even detect a hint of rudeness from any retail clerk, I don’t deal with it. I just go to the next store. There is no one brand that has a big enough hold on me to endure that crap.

    No wonder so much of brick & mortar retail is in the shitter.

  22. Melodie says:

    I bought a Chanel bag when I turned 30 and it was a big purchase for me. I spent over an hour making a decision and the clerks were very kind. I think some high-end clerks get so used to people with unlimited cash that they forget about the occasional (or one-time) customer like me.

  23. Melodie says:

    Don’t forget Lagerfeld used to be obese. He starved himself to be able to fit into the runway designs. He continues to starve himself. Poor dear is probably dumb with constant hunger.

  24. Lolo says:

    I totally get this. I’ll never forget the time I went into club monaco in high school and how badly they treated me – all but straight out saying I didn’t have enough money to shop there. The thing is I did – my mom had given me a generous amount of money to buy new clothes, so it was just rudeness based on age. And I was young, white and very thin at that point. I can’t even imagine the rudeness other people face. My dad has money, for example, but dresses in ratty clothes when working around the house and the sales people are horrible to him. My best friend in high school was black and sales people followed her around stores. The snobbery, rudeness and judgement is insane.

    Do I think for one second Chanel really cares or is sorry? Not at all.

  25. Raina says:

    The only thing that’s insulting is anyone liking Chanel.
    Go girl, get it out there..
    No more apologies, be decent in the first place.

  26. Jag says:

    I hate that anyone has felt what she felt.

    My favorite story to tell is when I was looking particularly unkempt and grungy, I went to the mall. I decided to go into my favorite jewelry store to see if they had anything new. I wanted to try on a ring that caught my eye, and the three salespeople completely ignored me. They even looked straight at me as I motioned that I wanted to look at something, and then they turned back to each other and kept talking.

    I was about to leave in disgust when the manager came out of his office. He greeted me by name and asked how I was, and how my (now ex) fiance was. What those salespeople didn’t know is that my guy at the time used to be really great with getting me jewelry from that store as presents for special times and “just because.” (Wish he had stayed nice like that.) I would go look at things and then he would ask what I had been shown the next time he went there.

    As soon as they saw their manager ask me if I wanted to see anything, they tried to jump into action to help me. When I told him that they wouldn’t help me and that I had been waiting a while so was about to leave, he gave them a dirty look and showed me the ring himself.

    I wish that I could say that I had a “Pretty Woman” moment afterward, but I didn’t. Salespeople need to learn what customer service means – especially these days. (Full disclosure, I’m Caucasian/Native American, but usually am called white and sometimes Latina. I was in my early 20′s back then, so was thin to pudgy at most, and I’m female.)

  27. whyioughta says:

    I am a white woman pushing 50, dress like a skater punk kid, and was followed around a Safeway recently by a security guard.
    I was perusing the tampon selection when I confronted the guy and made him admit he was following me under suspicion of theft.

    I asked him if he seriously believed I was gonna steal some tampons, and he said he surely did believe I would if he wasn’t chaperoning me.

    at that point, I left the store and got my FH products at a Rite aid across the street.
    That Safeway will never get my patronage again.

  28. Guest says:

    Nobody should be turned away, with the retail market the way it is they should be happy to have her business. They won’t get my business either for the way they treated Gabby