Luxury shoe brand Gianvito Rossi is accused of racism against Serena Williams in a shocking ex-employee letter.
Just one week after Gabourey Sidibe penned a powerful letter about being discriminated against in a Chanel boutique, a former employee for luxury shoe company Gianvito Rossi filed a racial discrimination lawsuit, according to Page Six. This employee says tennis champ Serena Williams was discriminated against for her skin color and the claims are shocking.
Whitney Wilburn has dark skin and is 46 years old. She claims her boss Grace Mazzilli at the New York City Gianvito Rossi boutique was “hostile to her based upon her race and age.” Mazzilli was also allegedly hostile to Serena Williams.
“For instance, when the world famous athlete Serena Williams, via her staff, asked for a discount on her extensive purchases, Gianvito managers responded with racially disparaging comments about Ms. Williams which made it clear that the company did not want African American women to wear its shoes,” the suit reads, according to Page Six. Managers allegedly called Williams “disgusting.” It wasn’t until after a “contact at Vogue” reached out that Williams was given a discount, but allegedly less than white celebrities.
Page Six reports that Mazzilli fired Wilburn “without warning or formal evaluation” this past January, and replaced her with a younger, white manager.