What a shame H&M…

Dear clients, friends, and everyone who supports wear worthy fashion,

The article below is not only reason enough but the reason I can no longer support H&M. There’s so many other places to shop and purchase from anyway… You can read the article cut and pasted below if you haven’t had the chance to or click the link to read it on the Chicago Tribune website.

Protest at H & M backs claim of harassment
By Mary Owen

Tribune staff reporter
10:40 PM CDT, October 6, 2007

More than 50 people, many Asian-American, rallied Saturday outside an H&M department store on the Magnificent Mile to call for the dismissal of a white male employee accused of making racist and sexist comments to a female Filipino-American customer.

Frannie Richards, 33, of Chicago, filed a complaint against the store at 840 N. Michigan Ave., charging that while she was shopping on Sept. 13, a white male employee said, “mail-order bride in the house” and started giggling with another employee, according to the complaint filed with the city’s Commission on Human Relations on Sept. 21.

The “mail-order bride” label refers to women from developing countries who publish their intentions of marrying men after little or no communication. The term has derogatory connotations and is offensive to Asian women because it suggests that they are submissive sexual objects, said Richards’ attorney, Myron Dean Quon.

“Women are really offended; it’s really like a gut punch,” said Quon, legal director for the Asian American Institute, which filed the complaint on behalf of Richards, a nurse. The same employee then insinuated that she didn’t speak English when she asked where the fitting room was. She said the employee used an exaggerated intonation when he said, “Can you read the sign? It says fitting room.” He then mocked her, saying “ching, ching, chang,” Quon said. Two managers did not allow her to file a formal complaint with the store, he said.

The city’s Commission on Human Relations has assigned an investigator. If there is evidence of discrimination, the commission could award damages to Richards or fine the store for violating the city’s anti-discrimination ordinance.

H&M corporate officials said spokeswoman Lisa Sandberg is the only person who could comment, and she is out until Monday.

mowen@tribune.com | Copyright © 2007, Chicago Tribune

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