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Blackface Backlash: Gucci issues apology over a sweater that resembles blackface

by Apparel Resources News-Desk

07-February-2019  |  3 mins read

The Controversial Gucci Sweater
Image Courtesy: www.gucci.com

After a wave of angry comments and blacklash, Gucci has released an official apology  while discontinuing a sweater that was deemed as having resemblance to blackface because of its design by social media users.

The Italian luxury giant posted the apology on twitter on Wednesday, stating that it, “deeply apologizes for the offence caused by the wool balaclava jumper.”

The top in question is a wool balaclava jumper that pulls up over the bottom half of the face with a cut out with an addition of oversized red lips around the mouth, and has been discontinued from the Gucci’s website.

“We can confirm that the item has been immediately removed from our online and all physical stores,” Gucci said in a statement on Wednesday. “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.”

The sweater has received a lot of criticism on social media, with Twitter users actually responding to the picture stating that it resembles blackface in tones that ranged from exasperation to outrage.

“Today Gucci released their Balaclava Knit Top. Sigh. Really Gucci? Really?” Keisha Ka’oir tweeted.

Gucci’s Apology
Image Courtesy: twitter.com

Michael Bonner tweeted his frustration at the constant depiction of racist imagery in the news recently.

“One day I am going to deliver a prolific dissertation on how it feels to live in a continuous cycle of disrespect as a black man,” he said. “Gigantic brands like @gucci create offensive “fashion”, quickly apologize, and then state, ‘We did not know.” I don’t care. This is unacceptable.”

Users were also quick to point that the controversy falls in line with the Black History Month, which might result in people refraining from buying the brand.

It is also sharing the spotlight with the latest controversy about Virginia Gov. Ralph Northam, who is being subjected to criticism and calls to resign because of a photograph in his medical school’s yearbook showing one person in blackface and another in a Ku Klux Klan robe and hood on his page.