I sent this message to all of the menswear designers who have their clothing at Riccardi, Boston.
I am an artist who lives and works in Boston. Recently, I opened a solo exhibition at the Institute of Contemporary Art/Boston titled there is no one left to blame. It has been very well received and as a result, I have had many speaking engagements. These have required additions to my wardrobe and because I love your clothes, I went to one of your local stockists, Riccardi on Newbury Street, to make some purchases for my lecture at the museum scheduled for 19 September.
To say that the staff was rude would be an understatement. The two people in menswear were clearly busy and so engaged in their own conversation that they barely managed a strained response to my hello, but they did watch me walk around the store. I was going to ask for some information but they resumed talking to each other. I walked upstairs to womenswear and spoke with a woman working on a laptop. I said hello and told her I was interested in suits and skirts for men. She told me that she did not work there.
At this point, a man came upstairs and the woman at the laptop told me he worked at the store. I said hello and repeated my request about suits and skirts for men. He replied, "Yeah, that's downstairs. This is the women's department." I advised him that I was aware of that and that I wanted to know what was available in menswear. He replied, "It's downstairs," and just stared at me. I thanked him and told him that I would find it myself.
I left the store. I went to Barneys.
I am a 50 year old African American man and I have lived in Boston for a long time. I know when I am not welcome in a store. I know when people assume that I am going to steal something or that I do not have enough money to shop there. I know when sales people want to help me and when they don't. I assure you that I will never shop at Riccardi again.
I am not writing to the manager of Riccardi because I don't care about them. I am writing to you to let you know what type of store carries your wonderful clothing. In my opinion, your clothes are too beautiful to be sold by such an ugly retailer.
Thank you for your hard work, Steve
Sent to Balmain, Boris Bidjan Saberi, Comme des Garçons, Dior, Dolce & Gabbana, Dsquared2, EN NOIR, ENVISU, Giuseppe Zanotti, Givenchy, Julius, J.W. Anderson, Lanvin, Mastermind Japn, Moncler, Nighborhood Japan, ROAR, Vivienne Westwood, and KTZ.