Toronto clothing store in hot water over Black Friday "play on words"

Nov 23 2016, 10:40 pm

As most of you are probably aware, this Friday is none other than Black Friday – the shopping celebration of the year.

As most of you are also probably aware, attempting to combine the Black Lives Matter movement with Black Friday is going to receive some backlash.

And Serpentine, a menswear clothing boutique in Toronto’s Yorkville neighbourhood, is learning that lesson right now. Earlier today, the store uploaded a promotional ad to its Instagram account that many people accused right away of being insensitive to the Black Lives Matter Movement.

This is that post:

Serpentine Toronto


Once the backlash began, but before Serpentine removed the post, the store added their own comment to the photo:

It’s unfortunate that most of the people responding to our ‘play on words’ post have never been into our boutique. They know nothing about the brands, the culture or the owners. For starters, one of the owners and creative director is black. The colour palette of our product assortment is dark in nature and predominantly black.

This response was not enough for many, prompting Serpentine to remove the posts and update it with the following one:

A photo posted by theserpentine (@theserpentine) on

Whether or not you agree that this was simply a “play on words,” one thing’s for sure – as far as promotions go, we can’t imagine this has been a very good one for new business.

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