UPDATE: Chanel issued a response to the above incident yesterday. It reads as follows:
"Chanel expresses our sincerest regret for the boutique customer service experience that Ms Sidibe mentioned in the essay she published on a website. We are sorry that she felt unwelcome and offended.
"We took her words very seriously and immediately investigated to understand what happened, knowing that this is absolutely not in line with the high standards that Chanel wishes to provide to our customers.
"We are strongly committed to provide anyone who comes in our boutiques with the best customer service, and we do hope that in the future Ms Sidibe will choose to come back to a Chanel boutique and experience the real Chanel customer experience."
In this week's Lenny Letter, Gabourey Sidibe details an awkward encounter in a Chanel store. While shooting Empire in Chicago, Sidibe went to the Chanel store to pick up a pair of new eyeglasses. The saleswoman, noting that they only sold sunglasses, urged her to go to a store across the street instead. "I knew what she was doing. She had decided after a single look at me that I wasn't there to spend any money. Even though I was carrying a Chanel bag, she decided I wasn't a Chanel customer and so, not worth her time and energy," Sidibe wrote.
It was only after that other salespeople — who happened to be of color —told the woman who Sidibe was that she was treated like a legitimate customer. Sidibe goes on to muse whether or not she is treated this way because she is Black or "fat."
Sidibe notes that this is not the first time she's experienced such behavior. "No matter how dressed up I get, I'm never going to be able to dress up my skin color to look like what certain people perceive to be an actual customer. Depending on the store, I either look like a thief or a waste of time. There doesn't seem to be a middle ground between no attention and too much attention," she said.
She ends her account with the following: "Does it matter whether my waist is wide or if my skin is Black as long as my money is green?"
(Photo: Ray Tamarra/GC Images)