Why Are Designer Stores So Rude?
Last Friday (9th August) I went to Westfield Shepherd’s bush I love going there because you can pretty much find anything you want.
I was there with a friend and she was getting some things for her birthday from “the village” ; the luxury boutiques and stores that are located in the mall. I was also hoping to get myself a little treat maybe a Prada purse or Michael Kors bag.
So I went into the designer stores fully expecting to purchase something and yet I was feeling unwanted and unwelcome in most of the stores.
The first store I went into was Versace accessories and we were looking for some trainers, they only had one pair of women’s trainers on display, that had been studded to within an inch of its life. The security guard noticed us looking at the shoes and then he asked a bizarre question to me. He asked : ” How much do you think that costs?” I thought that was a very odd question to ask, so I guessed £600 and he laughed and told me £900 . What I infer from this is that he did not believe I could afford it and was trying to put me off the purchase. I felt unsettled about this and just brushed it off.
At the same time something odd was also happening. Whenever I would walk into a store the anti theft barrier would go off. So I would beep. I thought this was very odd. I managed to eventually sort out the problem after it got incredibly frustrating. I figured out that Zara had stuck two anti theft tags beneath the lining of the bag so it was impossible to find without me cutting open the lining, damaging my bag and retrieving the tags.
Before I had resolved the problem I had been beeping when I walked in and the security guards had all seen this happened and I explained that it was going off.
Shopping while black
We walk into Louis Vuitton and sure enough I beep walking in, three security staff at the front see me enter and I said to them. My bag has been beeping in all the shops I’ll go and sort it when I can.
We are browsing around the store and I notice that the shop assistants are always watching me but not my friend. She is white by the way. I walk around and as soon as I pick up one shoe someone pops up and asks “can I help you with anything? ” as usual I say no I’m fine just looking around. I say this because I am so used to this. It’s called shopping while black. If a black or non white person goes shopping they are immediately profiled and deemed a suspect by store staff and security guards. I have been told to stop touching things unless I plan to buy it or followed around; my every move watched. They assume my intention is to steal.
Naturally, at Louis Vuitton I felt unwelcome and judged so I decided to leave I didn’t want to waste my time with people who behaved like that. As I was leaving the store, my bag of course set off the alarms. My friend walked through but the same security guard who 5 minutes earlier saw me walk in and the same security guard who I explained the situation to, told me to step back and open my bag. He looked through and then let me go. He didn’t care about what I said as long as a black woman walks through with her bag beeping she must be stopped. I was upset and embarrassed.
I wanted to write about this because the same day this happened to me was the day Oprah Winfrey one of the richest women in the world was discouraged from buying a handbag because the shop owner did not think she could afford it.
Only care about certain people
I don’t think I am alone in saying that pretty much most women regardless of colour would have felt uncomfortable in designer stores because of their snobbery.
Women all over the world work hard so that they could afford the expensive handbag and shoes and unless you look like Victoria Beckham staff at designer stores are incredibly rude and discriminatory.
Even though their main objective is to make money I think designer shops and boutiques and their staff work very hard to display this amount of stupidity. They are shooting themselves in the foot because they only want certain people to buy their goods.
My bag going off brought a lot of unwanted attention towards me , but what is sad is regardless of how nice I am dressed or whether my bag goes off it makes no difference. I am always left feeling uncomfortable and like I don’t belong there because of their own prejudices and judgement on what I can afford.
Have you had any bad experiences at designer stores?