MBA Navajo Student Harassed at Kim Kardashian’s West Beauty Brand Shop

Nicole Johnny was harrassed by security at Kardashian’s West Beauty Brand pop-up shop in Los Angeles.

Published July 8, 2018

LOS ANGELES — Out shopping with family on Saturday, June 30, Nicole Johnny (Navajo), an MBA student at Pepperdine University, encountered harrassment by security at Kim Kardashian’s West Beauty Brand pop-up shop in Los Angeles.

Johnny will receive her MBA next month from Pepperdine University and was visiting the area for a school related assignment when she and her family decided it was the perfect chance to attend the special KKW pop-up shop event.

After waiting in line for an extended period of time, just like every other attendee, Johnny prepared to step inside the shop upon what she believed to be her turn.

She asserts she was rudely stopped by one of the security guards at the doorway and told to “Get back in line,” or else he would “call and have her deported.”

Kim Kardashian

Johnny was shocked by his language, and when the guard asked her to confirm whether she was “Mexican”, she informed him that she was a Diné woman from New Mexico. Following their initial exchange, Johnny was able to enter the store. Unfortunately, the same security guard approached her as she was sampling products and informed her that she would need to buy an item or leave. Johnny inquired as to why he was giving her such directions when customers’ time inside the store could be used to sample the available makeup, and her mother was making a purchase just across the floor. Still, to avoid more conflict, Johnny moved to the side of the store away from the merchandise and waited for her mother.

“This incident is troubling for multiple reasons,” said Angelique Albert, executive director of the American Indian Graduate Center (AIGC) in Albuquerque. “First, it is alarming that an employee of a global beauty brand that is supposed to herald diversity would act in a blatantly racist and discriminatory manner toward a customer. Secondly, whether a person is of Mexican or other Hispanic/Latino origin should have no bearing on how they are treated, nor should their United States citizenship status be questioned in such a situation.”

AIGC stands in solidarity with Nicole Johnny and urges KKW Beauty to take the appropriate steps to reconcile the harmful actions of its employee. 

The shop is Kim Kardashian’s first location in the United States. It is located in the Century City Mall in Los Angeles.


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