Gucci has issued an apology and withdrawn a polo neck sweater from sale after its resemblance to blackface was pointed out on Twitter. The "balaclava" knit was retailing at $890 and was part of the fashion brand's autumn/winter 2018 range. As seen in the picture above, the neck of the sweater rolled up to reveal a large red mouth cut out in the center.
Balaclava knit top by Gucci. Happy Black History Month y’all. pic.twitter.com/HA7sz7xtOQ— Rashida (@fuckrashida) 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
It’s 2019, when are we going to stop using stereotypes etc as marketing tactics?— 和 明呀 (@miamohill) February 6, 2019
As a Marketer/advertisier, there is a team responsible for checking stuff like this. But the problem is: if no one sees a problem with it on the team. @gucci you’re dead wrong. https://t.co/6V9w8X6KPB
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.— The GLOWBOSS (@VanessaVeasley) February 7, 2019
The Italian brand removed the item from its website on Wednesday night and stated that it would turn the incident “into a powerful learning moment for the Gucci team”, adding it was “fully committed to increasing diversity.”
The statement continued: “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."
Gucci deeply apologizes for the offense caused by the wool balaclava jumper.— gucci (@gucci) February 7, 2019
We consider diversity to be a fundamental value to be fully upheld, respected, and at the forefront of every decision we make.
Full statement below. pic.twitter.com/P2iXL9uOhs
The FADER has contacted Gucci for further comment.