Celebrity-store partnerships run risks

October 30, 2013 • Entertainment

FILE – In this Tuesday, Oct. 29, 2013, file photo, the Rev. Al Sharpton, standing with Mark Lee, left, CEO of Barneys New York, addresses member of the media, at the National Action Headquarters in New York, after they and other community leaders discussed allegations of racial profiling. Two black customers recently claimed they were detained by police on suspicion of credit card fraud after lawfully purchasing expensive items. (AP Photo/Craig Ruttle, File)

NEW YORK (AP) — When big-name celebrities pair up with big businesses, customers often believe the adage: You are the company you keep.

Rap artist Jay-Z is learning that firsthand. He has complained this week that he’s been unfairly “demonized” because he hasn’t backed out of his collaboration with Barneys New York after the luxury retailer was accused of racially profiling two black customers.

Jay-Z, whose real name is Shawn Carter, has said he’s waiting to hear all the facts. Meanwhile, Barneys said on Tuesday that its Login to read more

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