Shoe company accused of racism against Serena Williams

Grace Mazzilli (pictured) has been accused of racially discriminating against her black employee Whitney Wilburn, who was based in the Manhattan boutique of Gianvito Rossi.

Bosses at luxury shoe company Gianvito Rossi have been accused of branding Serena Williams 'disgusting' and refusing to give her a celebrity discount because she's black.

Whitney Wilburn, who went to work for the shoe firm's Manhattan boutique in 2015, has filed a racial discrimination lawsuit against her former employer. 

Wilburn claims her old boss Grace Mazzilli had a 'racial animosity toward African Americans', New York Post.

Serena Williams
Grace Mazzilli

Bosses at luxury shoe company Gianvito Rossi have been accused of branding Serena Williams  (left) 'disgusting' and refusing to give her a celebrity discount because she's black (right is retail manager Grace Mazzilli)

She claims that when world renowned tennis star Williams had contacted the store, via her staff, to inquire about a discount on her many purchases, managers had refused.

The referred to the tennis pro as 'disgusting' and 'made it clear that the company did not want African American women to wear its shoes,' the suit says.

'When later pressured to do so by a contact at Vogue magazine, they offered only a fraction of the discount that white celebrities typically receive,' the suit says.

Wilburn, who was recruited from another fashion store, says she was the only black employee at the boutique for a year and a half.

Whitney Wilburn, who went to work for Gianvito Rossi in 2015, has filed a racial discrimination lawsuit against her former employer

Whitney Wilburn, who went to work for Gianvito Rossi in 2015, has filed a racial discrimination lawsuit against her former employer

During that time, her suit says Mazzilli was 'hostile to Wilburn based upon her race and age.'

She was also never invited to any of the many events all Mazzilli threw for boutiques run by white colleagues. 

Wilburn was then fired in January 2017 'without warning or formal evaluation' and was replaced her with a 'much younger white manager,' the suit says. 

DailMail.com has reached out to Gianvito Rossi's Manhattan boutique for comment.