December 11, 2014


libertine club londonlibertine club london racismlibertine club london abuselibertine clublibertine club racistlibertine club racismlibertine club abuse

ASOS Sunglasses, ASOS Dress, Karen Millen Booties, Coat

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Most of you know that there is no item of clothing that I dislike as much as a bandage bodycon dress. They are way too ubiquitously sexy for me and I think that they generally lack personality. I get asked what to wear clubbing quite a lot and I'm always like 'anything but a bandage bodycon dress!'. So I'm starting a series of posts where I will show you examples of the types of looks I go for when it's time to turn up at the club! This is one of them.

I don't go clubbing often. I would much rather spend my money on Balenciaga than a £300 bottle of vodka but that's just my preferred lifestyle as a fashion victim. Don't get me wrong- I love a good night out. I will never forget my friend's 21st at Liv in Miami with DJ Ruckus on the decks or my 21st at VIP Room in Paris when the DJ somehow figured out we were Nigerian and dropped some jams that made us all go crazy! Once in a while, I snap out of being a grandma and go 0 to 100 real quick. And that's what I intended to do on Friday 31st October in London- Halloween.

A few girlfriends and I decided that we had been working too hard and we deserved a night out. We wanted to go to Cirque Du Soir because it's always the place to be at Halloween but we wanted to get a table and decided that the minimum spend at Cirque was too high. So, we settled on Libertine Club London. I had been to Libertine three times prior (once when it was China White and twice after it had changed to Libertine). Those three times were for my friends 18th, my friend's graduation party and then once when we just went out randomly. All three times, someone or a few people within the group got a table and spent a lot of money. On these occasions, I never had any issues at Libertine. There was great music and great company and that's all I've ever needed to have a great night.

A few friends dropped out while we were planning the Halloween night and it was down to three of us. We decided that we weren't going to get a table as a result and we would just hop on a guestlist. I looked around on the internet, found a promoter and text him to put our names down on the list. We got to the club quite late because there was so much traffic and at this point, the queue was massive and the promoter told us he couldn't help us get in quicker and we had to queue up.

We went to the back of the queue while contemplating whether to just leave until a security guard overheard us and told us that the club wasn't full, we should stand in the queue and the wait would only be about half an hour. We queued for about an hour in the cold and finally got to the front of the queue. We were asked for ID which we showed. The most obnoxious, patronizing door lady looked us up and down and asked what guest list we were on. We told her, to which she replied 'Not tonight, ladies. Please step aside'. I'm standing there shocked and confused because I've heard about this sort of behavior at clubs but never experienced it before. We were properly dressed- I mean, it was halloween. People were dressed as all sorts- orange prison costumes, skeletons, ghosts, all sorts. I was minnie mouse, my friend Leona was poison ivy and Zeina was Baron Samedi, whoever that is. Lol.

I asked why we were not able to get in and was told that they owe us no explanation and we should go home. WHAT?! I demanded a sensible explanation and some elderly white man, maybe the manager tells me 'maybe because you're black but there are some black people inside, probably because you're not good looking enough'. At that point, I was speechless. We left and the next day I sent an email to the owner, the manager and the club. In this email, I demanded an explanation and apology for such appalling abusive treatment. It has been over six weeks and these people did not even think that I deserved a reply.

Such blatant abuse and racism from a well established London nightclub is disgusting. I was and still am so shocked. The past three times I've been to the club when I was with a group of people on a table which was spending at least £2000, I had no issues. The minute we were not spending stupid money at the club, our race and looks became an issue? This sort of discrimination is unacceptable.

I have put off writing this post for so long because you guys know how I like to keep this blog positive. I partner with and promote brands I like everyday and this is important to me and to this blog. I never give any negative publicity because I don't have many negative brand experiences and except it's an important social issue, I prefer to say nothing than to ruin a business image that someone has worked so hard for. It is important to highlight more serious issues of abuse and discrimination like we faced at Libertine. It is sad that some elderly man feels that he has the right to speak to anyone in that way and to racially discriminate against anyone; let alone a group of three girls out to have a good night. And then to have such a superiority complex as to insult us based upon our looks? The fact that neither the founder nor the partner felt a need to reply shows how little respect they have for their customers and the image of their business.

Exclusivity does not and should not mean discrimination. I will never set foot in this club again. Your establishment embodies so much that is wrong with the world today.


  1. Agirl says:

    So unfortunate. I know where not to go if ever in your neck of the woods.

  2. Peter Longe says:

    In most interpretations of the word, Libertine connotes ‘thinking’ and ‘freedom’. Clearly the establishment was misnamed as it would seem its promoters and staff are incapable of either. Its probably worth doing them the favor – totally gratis – of thinking-up a more appropriate handle…Cretin Club maybe?

  3. Niki says:

    Had a similar experience there. My friends and I were on the guest list, me being black, two asians and a white friend. We got there early to hardly any queuing and were condescendingly told that they couldn’t accomodate us whilst simultaneously giving entry to a group of blonde girls. There was no explanation given and we simply left.

  4. Feyi A says:

    I completely I agree the bandage dress is too much and I love this look you have on. Its classy as well as sexy, lovely! xxx


  5. Stella says:

    Wow that is shockingly rude. Can’t believe can still behave this way in 2014. I now know where to avoid. Thanks for the heads up.

  6. Jo says:

    That’s disgusting behaviour! I’m not much of a clubber so I wouldn’t go there anyway. But that sort of behaviour is just foul.

    On a brighter note- I love this outfit. Where can I purchase the skirt you are wearing underneath it? The model on the ASOS website is wearing a body.

  7. Debby says:

    I can’t believe this sort of behaviour still exist, I hope this post goes viral so individuals know what sort of hypocritical establishment these fools are running.
    Meanwhile your outfit is on fire, you rock girl.

  8. Grace says:

    have my eyes for awhile now on that KM shoes.
    The rich exploit people. ehm some are still regarded as plantation workers.
    It’s a pity you all have been treated like that. Not been clubbing for a long haul… so there’s no china white. Ah! Libertine now, would not be heading there.
    Well they are trying to pull fast turnover eh!
    Today I was given English pronunciation lessons by a cab driver… hahaha
    Ebony don’t crack!
    You are beautiful, lovely ebony complexion, confident, stylish, smart, intelligent, hardworking, multitask er, blessed and highly favored. You already know that just putting out there.
    God bless

  9. nneka agbim says:

    Exact same reason I will never ever go to Dstrkt again

    1. Hepi says:

      Hey, this issue has resurfaced recently with the appalling treatment of 2 girls who were told they were “too dark” and “overweight” to get into Dstrkt. Have a look through social media (particularly Twitter and Facebook) thought you might be interested, apparently the guardian is looking to publish a story on it, if everyone can bring their experiences together hopefully we can at least get some accountability for these so called establishments

      Love your blog! Xo

  10. They really said THAT? it’s a pity this still goes on. thanks for the heads up. i will steer clear of them. the dress looks spot btw!

  11. chef says:

    I had a similar experience but to top it off, I had 2 tables booked. Majority of my guests got in but rather than show them through the front door, they were taken through some mysterious entrance away from the main front door. It was all made worse by the club shoving them in a “VIP Room”away from the main dancefloor, which I didn’t understand. When I got there, with a few friends in tow, I was told to que up in the general que despite having a few tables, this I didn’t mind. What made me angry and disappointed was when it got to my turn. They swiped my ID, told all my guests that I arrived with to come out that they flagged a double entry. I was totally shocked. I said take a look at all our IDs once again, none are the same. Manager simply said NO that I should forget about coming in. Me being the person that was supposed to pay for the tables. I simply told all my guests to come out and we left. Did I forget to mention that we were all black, all 20 of us. The London club scene has become highly racist and I would rather fork out an extra £1,000 and go to Paris or New York.

  12. Bankè says:

    This sort of thing enrages me. I moved away from the central London club scene many years ago, not because I’ve been treated bad or different but I think their policies are generally shabby and disrespectful to many who have willingly gone to their establishment to get extorted. The unnecessary wait on the queues when the clubs are still empty to give a false impression that they are full, the semi disdainful look of arrogance most door ladies give you because you haven’t rolled up in a Ferrari. Merely these 2 experiences are enough to ruin ones night before it starts.

    On the high, your blog is fab and your body is BANGING. Curve envy right here. Checked the dress on ASOS and they don’t have the black anymore. Would have been perf for my work xmas party.


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  14. Efe says:

    Sorry Fis, I must admit that this has happened to me routinely in NYC. Routinely. So I’m not at all surprised, and calling these fools out on social media is the only way to get their attention. Take to Twitter and Insta if you want a real response.

  15. Annette says:

    Sorry you had to experience such a negative experience at a club. It’s 2014 WHY are people still bringing race into it?? It’s utterly disgusting. The fact that the management couldn’t even just respond to your email is highly rude. Something happened similar at Club Runway at one of my friend’s birthday (many years ago) not so quite a racist attack but turned down to enter and we was dressed to the 9’s its just a disgrace. Treat everyone as equal regardless..

    Aside that, You look gorgeous in this ensemble. Work it Fisayo

    1. dee says:

      Same thing happened to me at club runway with that short, blonde door girl when there was about nine of us ready to go out. Needless to say I never went back.

  16. Wow. I cannot believe someone coud be so outrightly rude, condescending and racist. To think, I was just telling a friend that London isn’t a racist city.

    I’m sure you know this. You are beautiful. Don’t let anyone tell you differently.

    You look amazing in that dress by the way xx

  17. Coco says:

    How horrible and depressing is your story in 21st c London!! Aren’t there laws that are being broken by these establishments? Isn’t there a government board or licenses that you can report these clubs and businesses to? My days of partying in London are long gone by almost 30 years but I will say that back then this was never an issue for me and black my “crew” of Jamaicans-Nigerians-SouthAfricans and others of the African diaspora. London has indeed changed, it is pseudo-American run by a very trenchant Eastern European racist faux-“posh” bent that is truly frightening and does not bode well for the future this country that post-slavery seemed a more open and respectful society. Sad, sad, times ahead is all I see

  18. Paul says:

    It is not racism. The clubs are for white men; white men; those with money, like white girls. the club price the girls that MEN want. That is blonde…brunette too. There are loads of clubs in London where black or nigerian guys go that will welcome you.

  19. Never traveled outside Nigeria before but I still find it appalling that in this time & age, some low lifes still fancy treating people based on their skin color. Meanwhile, I just stumbled on this blog and I want to say I’m in love with Fisayo – her intelligence is obvious but that skin tone on her body? 10/10.

  20. Ese says:

    The door lady at libertine is d big problem she actually looked at my friend n i’s outfit head to toe before letting us in, on another occasion she refused d guys from coming like girl they re paying for the drinks. On another occasion she said we had to pay 1k pounds at d door before coming in n white people walked in freely

  21. MITCH says:

    Damnnnn! Perhaps next time you should put such racists on blast on Twitter. That should guarantee a response and some well deserved negative publicity to the bargain.

  22. tosin says:

    What a disgusting place and service! I wonder what values they teach their staff during briefing sessions.

  23. Petite Diva says:

    Wow, sorry about your experience. I love the dress. I wouldn’t rock it the way you did but i am sure i can find a way to rock it to suit my style…

  24. Amina says:

    Sorry to hear what happened to you. I experienced the same thing once and it was also by a woman at the door and she was Black!! Funny enough it was her colleague (a white man), who told us to chill and wait and we would eventually get in. Even though we got in, it ruined the mood for the night.

    BTW, you are rocking the dress 200%!!! i had keep comparing it against the one on the model in ASOS and you do it more justice than she did!

  25. Benj says:

    I was so appalled & disappointed to stumble across this atrocious news. Sorry you had to go through that. The same thing happened to me with the Old Blue Last in Shoreditch, a place that was one of the most well favoured venues in East London & one of my regular hangouts. I was refused entry by a (black) bouncer as he explicitly said to me ‘you can’t come in.. it’s under new management.. they don’t want any black people in.. they want a different crowd’. He even got his colleague to verify it. I called them out on Twitter the next day to explain themselves – – & also received support from Lee Jasper & some other people that caught wind of it. After a few weeks of back & forth (in which they publicly decried my accusations & threatened me with legal action to shut me up) they admitted defeat & (unjustly) fired the Doorman, & tried to offer me complimentary gifts to appease me. This type of institutional racism & behaviour has got no place in London or anywhere for that matter. I hope whatever management at Libertine that implemented such a disgusting policy, gets publicly shamed & pays profusely!!

  26. mysterion says:

    As well as racial discrimination clubs have also implemented sexual discrimination measures. For example a group of three guys would never have a chance of getting into libertine compared to a group of three girls. A guy and his mates just cant go clubbing like that, they have to have at least an equal amount of girls to get in. Also having policies such as free entry for girls and not for guys. Most people tend not to notice any kind of discrimination until it happens to them, so most white folk probably don’t even realise this is happening.

    Morale of the story. Don’t go clubbing if you aren’t prepared to face being discriminated against.

  27. smallbutMIGHTY says:

    swthrt sorry about your experience….sometin similar or shuld i say worse happened to me,i was asked by the Bouncer to go home that i looked underage and at that very moment a junior student of mine back whn i was in secondary jst came by and she was let in(am in my late 20’s and a manager where i work and i was called underage lol…)

  28. George says:

    it happened to me and my mates, lots of times in London; we re not black, but east europeans; i guess it s a crime nowadays; they check our passports and then invite us out of the queue,without any explanation; once i even found out the reason; guess what? Because u come from the east, and a lot of people from there, are dangerous; we were a few couples and some other from non-east european countries, and we couldn t get in; no worries, will spend our money somewhere else.
    Just smile and walk away, life is too short to get upset because of retards!
    Love and peace!

  29. Khrow The Knot says:

    It’s incredibly easy to rise above such ignorant human beings, all you have to do is brush that dirt off your shoulder as Jay-Z so elegantly put it. By that I mean go to another club, and don’t give them any of your time, because the world is too big and your life is too short. To be honest I don’t think this article should have even written, because you’re way too formidable to address such idiotic behaviour. So just as a lion distinguishes between prey and foe, as should you distinguish between relevant, and irrelevant!

  30. Jonty says:

    Whereas I can appreciate the frustration that any individual feels when publicly rejected from a nightclub, I can’t help thinking that playing the ‘race card’ is a bit below the belt. It’s common knowledge that Libertine attracts a very diverse and multicultural clientele… you only have to visit the club to see that first-hand.

    As you have admitted to having frequented this venue several times in the past, why now have you made this into a race issue? If that really was the case, surely you would not have been admitted entry ever? Sorry to play devils advocate, but I do think the facts should be portrayed accurately, rather than risking the reputation of business with such serious accusations.

    I hope I don’t cause any offense with my comments. J

    1. Fisayo Longe says:

      I think you should read the entire article and the bit where I wrote what I was told by a member of staff there on that night. Also, as I stated, the previous two times I had been there, I was on a table of people spending a lot of money; which instantly means they treat you better.
      No offense, just read the article. And if you look closely enough and listen to other people’s experiences (including promoters of the club who are told to bring ‘white models’), you might agree that I am not playing the race card.

      1. Louise says:

        I’ve been turned away from Libertine before, maybe because I’m too short 😉 It happens. It sucks. C’est la vie. Don’t let the words of an individual cause you to slam the entire business. Having been into Libertine a few times too, I can safely say that it is not a racist club. You only have to look at the multicultural crowd to know that. I wouldn’t wish discrimination on anyone, but it also seems very unfair that the venue is being shamed for something it’s really not.

  31. Waleed says:

    Thanks for this post.
    I have to say Cirque has given me this same problem twice; once before in the old venue when they let in my friends on the table apart from my 3 Nigerian friends and then recently in the new venue with the same situation.
    Really this is such terrible news for these modern times and I will never return to Cirque or Libertine after reading your post.
    Thank you for this

  32. Rory Keegan says:

    Dear Fisa

    I have been passed a link to your site by John Stephen with whom I founded Chinawhite back in the late 90’s. I would have liked to write to you personally, but cannot work out how to do so,

    Neither John or I have been involved in running the London operation, now known as Libertine, for some years. The current operators license the right to use the name Chinawhite.

    I live in Kenya these days and I don’t normally get passed stuff about day to day operations of individual clubs, particularly those operated by licensees. I think everyone in the chain that passed this on knew I would take a personal interest in this one.

    Firstly, you are owed a apology. You followed the policy, you personally tick all the right boxes, and should have got in. You were told the club was half empty. You had every right to think you would get in, but in that strange world that lies just behind the velvet rope odd things can happen.

    I wasn’t there and can’t comment on whether the call to leave you and your friends on the street was racially motivated, just a door picker being difficult, or a manager issuing instructions from the shadows.

    I am presuming that your friends are black, so there wasn’t some dreadful you can get in, you can’t scenario being played out. I am also presuming that none of your friends have 2 heads and would scare the customers. Though it being Halloween that might have been grounds for waving the No Two Headed People rule. I could go on about how nightclub door policies work and give you several legitimate and semi-legitimate reasons why you were not let in; but at the end of the day they should have let you in. Why? Because you are pretty much the personification of who I set Chinawhite up to appeal to.

    I am also ticked off that the follow up to your complaint has not been handled correctly, if at all. I very much doubt you will ever get an apology from the club or the individuals concerned; so I hope you will accept one from me on behalf of John and myself.

    The aspect of the episode that concerns me the most is your exchange with the middle aged white chap in the door, who may or may not have been the manager. Shame you didn’t get a name because I would like to find him, If he works at the club or God forbid is the manager they should be rid of him. Your report of the exchange with him shows him as crass at best, and several other things at worst.

    I spent years making Chinawhite the most ethnically mixed of the front line West End clubs, I am famous for dragging good looking black girls in, not leaving them on the street, so I am mortified by what happened to you. If I was still propping up table 1 every night I would ask you and your 2 friends to join me, in an attempt to ease the memory. These days you will all have to find your way to the north coast to claim a beach side lunch instead.

    If you would recognise the manager again get in touch, I would be happy to make this incident a bete noir.

    Rory Keegan
    Creator & Co-Founder of Chinawhite

    1. Fisayo Longe says:

      Hello Rory,

      Thank you for your taking the time out to reply and apologise on behalf of Libertine.
      The guy wouldn’t tell me his name and only said ’email with your complaints’, which I did.

      I will certainly take up that Kenyan beach-side lunch though if I head there in the near future!

      Warm regards,

  33. Rory Keegan says:

    ps: Fisayo … so sorry only half your name made it to the message above. Blame my fat fingers…

  34. Rachel says:

    Hi Fisayo,

    This is disgusting but doesn’t surprise me at all, I had a similar experience when I went out with my friends sometime towards the end of the summer. I too tend to not go out an awful lot outside of specific invites etc so I wasn’t expecting this and have never had an issue in any London club before.

    Now three of us decided to go out and someone suggested Libertine so I proceeded to put us on the guest list via a promoter, none of us had been there before. We unfortunately had the same experience as you with the same blonde girl at the door and she said exactly the same thing to us. Now I was shocked, had she offered an explanation or maybe if we were dressed “down” I could totally understand but from what I could see she had just turned away 3 black individuals and had let a group of white people in prior to and after our party (that alone stood out for me), needless to say I was livid. Now I’m a model and I turned up pretty dressed up, my male friend also a model and my other female friend a fashion stylist so needless to say our appearance (certainly not our attire) could not have been an issue for any pretentious club. The group in front of us however (and no disrespect to them, each to their own) can only be described as wearing items of clothing I wear around my house but I guess this was ok as their faces were the “right colour”. Whilst we were in the queue earlier I noticed 2 other black ladies who were just standing on the other side of the street, I assumed they were just taking a break from being inside as they had no jackets on only to later find out the same thing had happened to them.

    A doorman walking around heard me complaining and approached me and asked why I wasn’t let in the club, I told him I had no idea but from what I could gather it was because I was black. He seemed understanding but not shocked, he asked us to wait there whilst he went to have a word with the girl on the door and told us that unfortunately she had the last say and he would see what he could do. He came back after about a minute or so and apologised and said that he had spoken to her but there was nothing he could do. All the while people are still being let in, it’s a blatant disrespect.

    When I called the promoter to have a go at him, he also apologised and he said that wasn’t the first time it had happened and her “sorry not tonight” was usually code the girl on the door didn’t like the way you looked, usually because you were black…the promoter is caucasian.

    I am just astonished that this club do this and think it’s perfectly acceptable and I’m even more appalled by people who think this is playing the race card just because Libertine “have black people inside the club”, of course they do, they’re not going to exclude ALL black individuals that show up on the door as they can’t be that obvious but they feel they can limit and control the amount of black individuals they let in and clearly they do. I too made a complaint and I’m still awaiting a response…I won’t hold my breath.

    1. Rory Keegan says:

      Thanks for forwarding this.

      Horrid for me to hear all this again. So, so sorry it happened to you …. so that’s another free lunch on the beach ….

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