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12-05-2017
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What a sad story but it's once again another story about customer service/racism is luxury shops.

There's this thing with salespeople who are rude from the start by the way you look (outfit, body type) or rude when to their eyes, you're not interested in buying something they think it worth their attention (sunglasses, entry-level priced bags, accessories).

It's sad for people who have to go through this type of behaviour but also for the brand because some people may just decide to stop buying from those brands.

I've also experienced those type of attitude but never in Paris or in flagship stores of major luxury brands.
One thing is to let them know that you're not satisfied and to let the brand know about it.

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12-05-2017
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She is a class act! It is actually unbelievable that this could happen in this day and age. I hope that they fired the sales assistant. A discount frames retailer? Who do they think they are?!

However, luxury sales assistants really need to get their act together as they treat people terribly all the time, regardless of weight or skin colour. You get sick of being looked at like you can't afford to be there, even when you know your salary far exceeds that of a sales assistant's. The only sales assistants that I have found to be consistently helpful, both in Europe and Australia, are at Louis Vuitton. The sales assistants at Chanel are just awful.

@Lola701 I totally agree with you on that! I lived in Paris for a couple of years and I found the sales assistants there to always be charming and helpful and never looking down on you (even with my harsh Australian accent). I certainly can't say the same for the service in Sydney.

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15-05-2017
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The saddest part about this story is her despondency once she got the survey, one can only imagine how many times she's had to endure these type of experiences (and I'm sure higher end brands like Chanel wasn't the only culprits). What is equally odd and messed-up is that she had to dress up to the nines just for a shopping spree. That is also very telling. Incidents like these prevent me from shedding tears over the slow demise of the shop assistant and why countless people like myself nowadays prefer to shop online.

While the clip below is essentially comedic, it is also somewhat rooted in reality. I agree with Fashionista-ta, insist on dealing with someone else. It's what I would do if something like this would ever happen to me. There's no way someone should be rewarded in any shape or form for such poor customer service.

https://vimeo.com/30946854

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17-05-2017
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Sad…? Some of you must have some charmed, pampered and diamond life LOL

Maybe it had nothing to do with her being a Black woman. Maybe she was treated poorly because she was a badly-dressed big individual to the associate...? Not that such discrimination should be acceptable insults— but surprise surprise, within the context of a Chanel shop, it’s not an uncommon form of discrimination either. Remember Pretty Woman????

A few months ago, I had a meeting clients in the heart of the financial district of the city, an area I hardly venture into. My getup alone likely cost way way way more than the average suit on Bay Street… apparently I was singled out when I went into the wrong building (a financial building instead of a gallery LOL). Even before I stepped foot in there, I was outside having a smoke, and I noticed security parked right by me by the window inside the building. Once I went in the door, surprise surprise— the same security followed me. I guess I was singled out since my appearance didn’t match that of the typical financial resident: What is recognizably high fashion and stylish on one street is considered suspect and a potential terrorist on another LOL I could have easily accused the security of being racist and singling out an Asian man. But the truth is more than likely that my appearance— including my longer hair and beard, didn’t match the uniform of that community— and security became suspicious of me. And that wasn’t my first experience with that sort of behaviour either. Maybe if I had made big deal and cried racism and gone to the local news, it might get attention— or maybe not, since media isn't too interested on racism against Asians these days LOL

There will always be some level of discrimination based on appearance: You don’t look rich enough; you don’t look young enough; you don’t look smart enough; you just don’t look good or right enough etc etc… And when someone of a lowly position is given some power— as sales associates and security guards are and do, where judgement is made purely on superficial looks and presentation, these types of social disasters will happen. Just that it’s not always racism.

(BTW, which Chanel is this that’s located across the street from a discount optician…???)

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17-05-2017
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You are right ... it's not always racism ... but it's always discriminatory.


I got the attitude too ... many years ago, when I moved to a city where my accent pegged me as a "Northerner". More than once, I was asked if I was a "Yankee" and when I said I was from Canada, I was told the that was "just as bad". And then they asked me what church I belonged to ... because in that city, you had to be the "right" religion, too.


I think that it's based on sort of an "us against them" attitude ... almost tribal in nature.
- "You aren't from around here, are you?"
- "You don't look like you belong here!"
- "You are not one of us."
Which means that "You are not in my tribe ... you are a stranger and you scare me ..."

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17-05-2017
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I agree that this is something almost all of us have experienced at one time or another, but I think the point is that she is experiencing it over and over and over. No matter what -ism it is that's causing it, it's not okay.

Current events indicate clearly to me that we can do worse (where we are right now), and we can do better. We should all be doing everything we can to be sure it's better.

Compared to being shot, arrested, choked, etc., this kind of experience is comparatively nothing, because hey, you get to walk away alive. But it's the same discrimination and the same fear and the same targeting of the 'other' that's responsible for all of it, and it needs to be rooted out.

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18-05-2017
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Yep ... well said.

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18-05-2017
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What Gaby experienced is pure racism. She knows it, and every African American who has shopped while black knows it. The comments here dismissing her experience are both sad and depressing. However they are not surprising in the least.

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18-05-2017
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I don't think anyone "dismissed" her experience. To me, it looks like everyone who posted in this thread somehow noted that what happened to her was totally unacceptable. We just diverted a bit to talk about other types of discrimination and prejudgment, all of which are hurtful and totally wrong, in my book.

And yeah ... this incident probably was racism ... it is certainly the first "ism" that comes to my mind when told about her experience at Chanel.

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Last edited by BetteT; 18-05-2017 at 09:18 PM.
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18-05-2017
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mepps View Post
What Gaby experienced is pure racism. She knows it, and every African American who has shopped while black knows it. The comments here dismissing her experience are both sad and depressing. However they are not surprising in the least.
No one is dismissing her experience. We are saying the same treatment from these assistants occur everywhere, regardless of being African-American. Obviously there are no African Americans here in Australia, but I can tell you that walking into a designer store with the appearance of an east-Asian tourist, you will get treated much better than a white person from a rural area of Australia. I am thin, in my young 20s and very Italian looking, but also with a rough South Australian accent and one time when I was dressed down I asked a Chanel assistant a question, she didn't even respond and just completely ignored me. No one is dismissing it, but it was not related to her race (more likely a combination of her race and weight). It is purely based on whether they think you have money or not.


Last edited by dsamg; 18-05-2017 at 09:41 PM.
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19-05-2017
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i agree with dsamg about Vuitton being generally really good with customer service compared to somewhere like chanel.. but recently i was in the LV store to pick up a wallet i was having monogrammed, i'm caucasian and in my late late teens, and probably look slightly younger than i am. Initially the sales assistant bluntly told me 'i'm with a client' when i approached her (the person she was serving was not standing near her) and was oddly dismissive. As soon as i pulled out my receipt she instantly started giving me phoney compliments and being super nice. i think there is a culture in all high end stores where as soon as you walk in they judge you as either a time waster or their new best friend. The irony being that they themselves are hardly high income individuals, so it's like who are they to judge me and my spending capabilities? Let alone make bigoted and racist assumptions based on anyone's appearance..

I'm sad for Gaby, because she's a very accomplished woman who's been on the cover of Elle and V for f*** sake. I'm surprised that the first Chanel assistant didn't know who she was! It's laughable that some random sales assistant would have the nerve to talk down to someone who's not only a wealthy customer, but someone who rubs shoulders with the industry elite!

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20-05-2017
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Do you really think whether they think you have money does not have to do with your race? Are you aware black people were enslaved in the states for hundreds of years and still get brutalized for their skin color? Do you think people who work at designer stores don't harbor these prejudices that are rooted in hatred so deep that it has led to genocides? You can argue that these people aren't this racist but you cannot deny that these feelings have started from SOMEWHERE.

You act as though this problem is related to class, which it absolutely is, but class is absolutely intertwined with race; albeit, this relationship is so complex you will have to read literature to even begin to comprehend it. They actually have fields of study related to it, and in fact, people get their PhDs in them. They call such fields Africana, ethnic studies, gender studies, etc.; and in fact anyone with a decent humanities education and/or most people of color is aware of this correlation.

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20-05-2017
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mepps View Post
what gaby experienced is pure racism. She knows it, and every african american who has shopped while black knows it. The comments here dismissing her experience are both sad and depressing. However they are not surprising in the least.
100% !!!!!!

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20-05-2017
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Quote:
Originally Posted by YayYay533 View Post
Do you really think whether they think you have money does not have to do with your race? Are you aware black people were enslaved in the states for hundreds of years and still get brutalized for their skin color? Do you think people who work at designer stores don't harbor these prejudices that are rooted in hatred so deep that it has led to genocides? You can argue that these people aren't this racist but you cannot deny that these feelings have started from SOMEWHERE.

You act as though this problem is related to class, which it absolutely is, but class is absolutely intertwined with race; albeit, this relationship is so complex you will have to read literature to even begin to comprehend it. They actually have fields of study related to it, and in fact, people get their PhDs in them. They call such fields Africana, ethnic studies, gender studies, etc.; and in fact anyone with a decent humanities education and/or most people of color is aware of this correlation.
Americans always act the US is representative of the entire world, seriously. These incidents happen in every country, all the time.
Yep, even here in Perth or Adelaide where there is not a dark-skinned person to be seen, even if you search your hardest. Yes these feelings started from somewhere but this situation was just as likely to happen to an obese white person as it was to a black one. There are incidents, such as many police related ones in the US, that are ABSOLUTELY related to race. These incidents, ones that happen to everyone? Don't make it all about race.

As I have said, here I see it happen every week that Asians are more welcomed into stores than white people, and probably for good reason, as there is no real money in Australia like there is in China or Japan.

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21-05-2017
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Quote:
Originally Posted by YayYay533 View Post
Do you really think whether they think you have money does not have to do with your race? Are you aware black people were enslaved in the states for hundreds of years and still get brutalized for their skin color? Do you think people who work at designer stores don't harbor these prejudices that are rooted in hatred so deep that it has led to genocides? You can argue that these people aren't this racist but you cannot deny that these feelings have started from SOMEWHERE.

You act as though this problem is related to class, which it absolutely is, but class is absolutely intertwined with race; albeit, this relationship is so complex you will have to read literature to even begin to comprehend it. They actually have fields of study related to it, and in fact, people get their PhDs in them. They call such fields Africana, ethnic studies, gender studies, etc.; and in fact anyone with a decent humanities education and/or most people of color is aware of this correlation.
totally agree! i was speaking purely from my limited personal experience shopping in designer stores, i'm not american and have no experience there, so i have absolutely no place or authority to comment on Gaby's experience other than to say it's really upsetting and alludes to a sad state of racial profiling that's rampant in luxury goods stores across the globe.

I don't for one second deny any correlation between societal perceptions of someone's affluence being judged through a lens of racial profiling, you're 100% right about that. I agree completely with your argument, my point was mainly about the irony of sales assistants who are judging customers on appearance, when they themselves can probably hardly afford the very products they're so eager to dismiss people not deemed 'affluent' enough to buy. Their attitudes toward customers are certainly defined by the customer's ethnicity, weight, clothing, manner of speaking etc.

I disagree with dsamg, i don't believe the statement that it was 'just as likely to happen to an obese white person as it was to a black one'. Gaby's story is most certainly an indicator of racial prejudice. Gaby was a well dressed and affluent african american woman who was treated appallingly because of her race and appearance. I do not believe it's just as likely to happen to a caucasian woman regardless of their weight. As YayYay553 said, It's way more complex than just a matter of 'class'.

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