Bethenny Frankel calls fashion brand ‘elitist’ after being denied entry to Chicago store

Bethenny Frankel spent years feuding with her castmates on Bravo's "The Real Housewives of New York City," but now she has beef with a luxury fashion brand.

On Instagram, the Skinnygirl founder opened up about being denied entry to Chanel's Chicago store on Wednesday, which she called "elitist" and exclusionary," because she didn't have an appointment.

“I didn’t realize we weren’t allowed to walk into stores anymore,” Frankel, who wore a white T-shirt, joked in the video. “Gotta get a pap smear appointment and all to walk into Chanel. No big deal."

Then, the next day, Frankel returned to the Chanel store in a chic, all-black head-to-toe designer outfit. And this time, she posted a video entering without a problem.

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She captioned the post, showing her walking in the outfit with a designer purse, quipping "it’s important that I mention that the three gentleman outside (not present yesterday) were lovely." After a brief wait, Frankel walked in and then right out of the store, telling the camera "no problem today" donning a beaded headband.

Frankel also posted an Instagram carousel in the all-black set, with the cheeky caption "started from the bottom now we're here...", a playful use of rapper Drake's lyrics from the 2013 song "Started From The Bottom."

USA TODAY has reached out to reps for Frankel and Chanel for comment.

Social media users defend, criticize Bethenny Frankel's Chanel incident

On "Real Housewives," cast members are known for taking sides and the real world is no different — especially on the internet. Users criticized and defended Bethenny's experience on her multiple Instagram posts about the incident.

"So let me understand this: you were treated like everyone else?" one user wrote on Instagram, while others made comments such as, "that’s how people of color feel all the time" and "lol imagine being black sweets, love you tho you’ll be fine."

"Imagine being born brown and experiencing this every day and at every place and in any designer outfit," another said.

Bethenny Frankel, pictured in 2019, is calling out luxury fashion brand Chanel for being "elitist" and "exclusionary." Her reaction divided the internet.
Bethenny Frankel, pictured in 2019, is calling out luxury fashion brand Chanel for being "elitist" and "exclusionary." Her reaction divided the internet.

But some users took a softer approach to the stylish star's Chanel incident.

Bravo's "Family Karma" star Bali Chainani wrote, "ugh, this makes me sad. Now… imagine this same thing occurring all the time because you’re brown."

"I went into Chanel in New York and the guy was really snotty and said they had very few bags available. I went next door to the Chanel in Saks and the lady helped me buy a bag. I went back over Christmas and gave the lady more business. I guess I didn’t look worth his time🙄" Dana Byron, the mom of NASCAR driver William Byron, commented on Instagram.

'In business, first impressions are lasting': Bethenny Frankel says Chanel event was 'elitist' and 'exclusionary'

In the Instagram caption for the original post on Wednesday, Frankel recounted the incident and expressed her thoughts.

"Crime is at an all time high and security is critical. I could easily call one of my salespeople and get on this list. That’s besides the point. I was straight of a plane in a sweaty tshirt and not dolled up or looking wealthy," she wrote.

Frankel noted that there are several ways to "convey a message," writing that "this way was rudeness and elitist and exclusionary, which is also a crime." The Real Housewife-turned-business heavyweight added that "in business, first impressions are lasting. I would never want anyone to feel lesser than, particularly from a luxury brand making billions off of people buying into the hype. Chanel is a beautiful brand with timeless classic pieces."

"Being kind to customers of all socioeconomic backgrounds is also timeless and classic," Frankel said.

This article originally appeared on USA TODAY: Bethenny Frankel turned away from Chanel store in Chicago