Sephora locations all over the country will be closing down for an hour to hold an on-the-clock diversity training session for its employees. The diversity training will also shut down the LVMH-owned company’s corporate offices and distribution centers. Originally announced on May 23rd as part of Sephora’s “We Belong to Something Beautiful” initiative, the diversity training is perhaps long overdue for a company this large whose clientele is basically everybody from everywhere in the United States; the training is also aimed at ensuring that Sephora’s work environment is continuously striving to do right by its employees in terms of inclusivity.
The diversity training notably follows a high-profile incident of racial profiling from earlier this spring that involved Solána Rowe, better known as SZA, the most Grammy-nominated woman of 2018. SZA, who in the past had worked as a Sephora retail employee and since becoming a household name has been featured in a Fenty Beauty campaign, called out a store in the Los Angeles area for accusing her of shoplifting as she was on the hunt for Fenty Beauty products. “Lmao Sandy Sephora location 614 Calabasas called security to make sure I wasn’t stealing,” SZA tweeted in April. “We had a long talk. U have a blessed day Sandy.” To layer on even more levels of irony to the incident, recall that Fenty Beauty is one of LVMH’s brands, launched by Rihanna in 2017.
The following day, Sephora issued a public apology over social media. “You are a part of the Sephora family, and we are committed to ensuring every member of our community feels welcome and included at our stores. We want to let you know we take complaints like this very seriously and are actively working with our teams to address the situation immediately.” The company later specified in a statement that “profiling on the basis of race is not tolerated at Sephora.”
After Rihanna caught wind of the incident, she offered a modest gesture of support to her fellow artist with a gift card and handwritten note, which SZA shared on an Instagram story: “Go buy yo Fenty Beauty in peace sis! One love – Rihanna.” Rihanna, meanwhile, has been busy taking care of her new fashion business: Her luxury clothing brand Fenty officially launched in the past couple of weeks with a pop-up shop in Paris.