André Leon Talley Criticizes Jay Z For Moving Forward With Barneys Line

Beauty & Style | Bené Viera | 11/22/2013 | 10:26 AM EST

André Leon Talley says Jay Z should've dropped Barneys deal to make a statement.

Jay Z has a new critic in the form of former Vogue editor-at-large, André Leon Talley.

Earlier this week Jay Z debuted his controversial Barneys holiday collection. Despite petitions and criticism of the rapper's partnership with Barneys after the store was accused of two racial profiling incidents, the Brooklyn rapper decided to move forward with the line.

According to the “Holy Grail” rapper, 100% of the proceeds from the “Shawn Carter Collection” will go to his Shawn Carter Foundation for college scholarships for underprivileged students. A few of the items in the collection include $2,590 boxing shorts, a $695 cashmere ski mask and the most pricy item of the line, the Rick Owens designed $58,000 Mollino crocodile jacket.

Jay Z’s initial statement on Barneygate asked, “Why am I being demonized?” He claimed he wanted to wait for more facts instead of reacting off of emotion.

Now he’s not only being criticized for moving forward with the line, but also for the outrageous prices of the pieces.

Well, it’s not the price André Leon Talley is concerned with. It’s the fact that Jay Z didn’t drop the deal. Talley says if it were him he would’ve.

In an interview with the New York Times Talley said, “Any African-American, male or female, with any consciousness of what has happened would not go into Barneys right now. Nor Macy’s.” He also added that if he were in Jay’s position, “for the simplicity of making a broad statement I would pull out.”

One could argue Jay’s lack of social responsibility, keeping the deal despite Barneys racial profiling, is exactly what activist Harry Belafonte meant when he criticized Jay and his wife Beyoncé for not doing more with their fame.

(Photos: Andreas Rentz/Getty Images; Brian Ach/Getty Images)  

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