Gucci Formally Apologizes Following Outrage Over Seemingly Racist Sweater
Couture fashion house Gucci is used to making headlines for its legendary and iconic fashion designs, but this time the headlines are for a far more disturbing reason. The fashion-forward brand has found itself in hot water for selling what many deem to be a racist sweater mimicking blackface.
Before it was pulled from shelves and online, Gucci was selling an $890 balaclava black knit sweater. On the surface it sounds like no big deal, however it was what the sweater resembled that had people outraged.
The design of the sweater features a neck portion that can be pulled up over the face to cover the lower half, specifically the nose and mouth area, that portion also has a cut-out for the lips which are outlined in bright red. The image of the sweater quickly brings to mind the racist images of blackface from the past—and the backlash was immediate.
Once the negative response to the sweater picked up steam, Gucci issued a formal apology:
“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.”
This is just one in many instances of popular fashion brands selling items that many deem racist or problematic. It also calls attention to the obvious lack of minorities on staff to properly point out these issues before the products even make it to the public for consumption.
Do you think the Gucci sweater is racist? Do you think this will happen again in the future with other brands? Let us know in the comments.