PICS: Gucci issue apology following reaction to "blackface sweater"
The item garnered a huge backlash online.
This week, Gucci updated their fashion lines, and one of the items was a new woolen jumper for women.
However, the jumper was perceived by many to be offensive, seemingly similar to both a balaclava, and also representative of blackface:
Balaclava knit top by Gucci. Happy Black History Month y’all. pic.twitter.com/HA7sz7xtOQ
— Rashida Renée (@evilrashida) February 6, 2019
I am a @Gucci fan, and I was going to buy a jacquard cardigan because it’s a forever piece, but until they and other luxury brands hire some people of color to consider the imagery of items like the “blackface” balaclava sweater (Randy Jackson voice) its a no for me dawg! https://t.co/Ln9vHbhBVN
— KLD (@karyndeshields) February 7, 2019
This shit is absolutely unacceptable and @gucci needs to get rid of this shit IMMEDIATELY and apologize to OUR [Black] community. The lack of originality and creativity these brands have is absolutely unsettling & the frequent use of black trauma for capital gain is extra gross
— Atom♏️BLM (@Just_Autumn20) February 7, 2019
Gucci released an apology in full on Twitter, saying:
"Gucci deeply apologizes for the offense caused by the wool balaclava jumper. We can confirm that the item has been immediately removed from our online store and all physical stores.
"We consider diversity to be a fundamental value to be fully upheld, respected, and at the forefront of every decision we make. We are fully committed to increasing diversity throughout our organization and turning this incident into a powerful learning moment for the Gucci team and beyond."
Some reactions responded that if more workforce's were more roundly represented by more diverse teams who were supported in coming forward with their opinions, then situations like this wouldn't arise:
If you hire more Black people and cultivate an environment where people on all levels of the company feel comfortable to speak up incidents like this will be avoided.
— Vanessa La Rue Veasley (@VanessaVeasley) February 7, 2019