Gucci took to Twitter on Wednesday and said it “deeply apologizes for the offense caused by the wool balaclava jumper.” Adding, “we consider diversity to be a fundamental value to be fully upheld, respected, and at the forefront of every decision we make.”
The black turtleneck sweater can be pulled up over the bottom half of someone’s face and features a cutout and red lips around the mouth. Social media users blasted it as resembling blackface.
At this point Gucci playing in our face but y’all still gone shop happy black history month 🤦🏽♂️‼️ pic.twitter.com/vPTLvsA0TF— Casanova (@weeezy___) February 7, 2019
“Gucci made this item slightly offensive (just racist enough to cause outrage, but not racist enough to be indefensible) on purpose, so that Gucci could get black twitter talking about their item,” Twitter user Unemployedfatty wrote. “Then Gucci came with the textbook apology after they got the attention they wanted.”
“So @gucci puts out a sweater that looks like blackface…… On Black History Month…. And then issues an apology because they didn’t know that blackface images are racist,” wrote Tariq Nasheed.
Gucci isn’t the first brand to face controversy over items that resembled blackface. Last year, Prada apologized and removed animal-themed keychains that featured a brown monkey with large, red lips, called “Otto Toto.”
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Teddy is a multimedia journalist who serves as the culture and political writer for EBONY. His work has appeared in NBC's Owned and Operated stations, as well as DNAInfo, which covered local neighborhood news in New York City. He received his Masters in Journalism from the Craig Newmark School of Journalism at CUNY in 2017.