Prada accused of maltreatment

Boss wanted ‘old, fat, ugly’ out: manager

A senior manager at Prada Japan has filed a legal complaint against the Italian fashion label, accusing the company of harassment and discrimination based on appearance and alleging it maltreated other employees in the past.

Last May, Prada Japan CEO Davide Sesia visited some of the 40 Prada shops in Japan with Rina Bovrisse, its senior retail manager. Afterward, he asked her to “eliminate” about 15 shop managers and assistant managers he described as being “old, fat, ugly, disgusting or not having the Prada look,” Bovrisse said in a recent interview with The Japan Times.

Tokyo-based lawyer Reiko Shiratori, who specializes mainly in workplace harassment cases, said it would be illegal even for a luxury fashion house to order the dismissal, demotion or unfavorable transfer of a worker on the grounds of physical appearance because that isn’t the only relevant job requirement.

Bovrisse said she is taking this opportunity to raise the issue of harassment against women in the workplace because she wants to improve their working environment.