Banana Republic manager fired after telling employee braids are too ‘urban’

WHITE PLAINS, N.Y. — A manager at a Banana Republic in New York has been fired after allegedly telling an employee her braids were too “urban.”

Destiny Tompkins wrote about the act of “blatant racism and discrimination” after a district manager visited the Westchester Mall store on her Facebook page last Wednesday.

Tompkins was told to meet with her manager, only identified as Michael. When she stepped into his office, he began questioning her about the store's dress code.  He said her braids were too “urban” and “unkempt” for Banana Republic’s image, Tompkins recalled.

She then went on to tell him the style protected her hair from becoming brittle in the cold weather, and he stated she should use shea butter instead.

“I have never been so humiliated and degraded in my life by a white person. In that moment, I felt so uncomfortable and overwhelmed that I didn’t even finish my work shift and ended up leaving,” Tompkins wrote.

She continued, “Box braids are not a matter of unprofessionalism, they are protective styles black women have used for their hair and to be discriminated against because of it is truly disgusting and unacceptable.”

The manager has since been terminated from the company, Banana Republic officials confirmed Monday.

“BananaRepublic has zero tolerance for discrimination. This situation was completely unacceptable, counter to our policies, and in no way reflects our company’s beliefs and values,” the company said in part.