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Prada shelves accessory line after complaints of blackface-style imagery

Prada is no longer selling a line of accessories and displays following complaints they featured blackface-style imagery.

The controversy began last week when a New Yorker complained in a viral Facebook posting after walking past a Prada boutique in Manhattan's SoHo district and noticing what she described as a "racist and denigrating" caricature in the storefront.

The Italian fashion house had recently launched a series of luxury keychains and trinkets, including one showing a character with brown skin and exaggerated red lips.

Allen Adamson, a brand consultant in New York City believes Prada can use the controversy as "a teachable moment to look back and say how can we prevent this."

"The issue is they've done all the right things since the mistake but they had their head in a bubble. They were not really in touch with thinking about what they were doing in advance," Adamson said.

Prada Group released a statement saying it "abhors all forms of racism" and that the imaginary creatures were not intended to "have any reference to the real world and certainly not blackface."

The statement said it was withdrawing the characters in question from display and circulation.

One of the items released by the Italian fashion house included a keychain of a character with brown skin and exaggerated red lips. Source: Associated Press