Jay Z's Controversial Barneys Collection Launches Online

Your Number One source for $2,590 boxing shorts

By Jon Blistein
Nov 24, 2013

Jay Z's controversial Barneys holiday collection officially launched yesterday, and now the assortment of high-priced goods is available online. The "Shawn Carter Collection" includes items such as a $695 cashmere ski mask, $2,590 boxing shorts, a $3,100 leather and suede wind breaker and, the most expensive item, a $58,000 Mollino crocodile jacket designed by Rick Owens. The collection also boasts scarves, T-shirts, watches, jewelry and bags, most of which will run you at least a couple hundred bucks. All sales, by the way, are final.

As Barneys notes on the collection's page, between November 20th and January 3rd, 2014, 100 per cent of the proceeds from the collection will be donated to the Shawn Carter Foundation, a demand Jay Z made after the store came under attack for racial profiling when two young black customers were detained by police officers after purchasing expensive items there.

Following those incidents, Jay Z faced calls to pull out of his deal with Barneys, but in a statement posted on his Life + Times website, the rap mogul said that 25 per cent of the profits were already going to charity, and added, "I move and speak based on facts and not emotion. I haven't made any comments because I am waiting on facts and the outcome of a meeting between community leaders and Barneys. Why am I being demonized, denounced and thrown on the cover of a newspaper for not speaking immediately?"

A few weeks later, in another open letter, Jay upped the stakes, saying he would confront the racial profiling issue at Barneys "head on," laying out two conditions for going forward with the BNY SCC: First that all the profits would now go to the Shawn Carter Foundation, which provides scholarships for young people facing socio-economic hardships; and that the rapper and businessman would have a leadership role and a seat on the council created specifically to deal with racial profiling.

"I am in a unique position to use my voice to affect change to this disturbing issue," he wrote. "The easy position would have been to walk away and leave policy making to others hoping that someone addresses the problem. I will not leave the outcome to others. I will take this into my own hands with full power to recommend, review and revise policies and guidelines moving forward. I am choosing to take this head on."