High-end fashion line Gucci found itself in the headlines for all of the wrong reasons on Thursday, February 7. The brand was bashed on social media after images of a new product surfaced on social media.
What did Gucci do wrong? It all had to do with a sweater.
Twitter users quickly noticed that a sweater released by Gucci appeared to resemble blackface. The black turtleneck had a cutout around the lips that was outlined in red. With February being Black History Month, the timing could not have been worse.
Here is a look at the controversial sweater.
After the backlash began, Gucci quickly issued an apology.
“Gucci deeply apologizes for the offense caused by the wool balaclava jumper,” a statement read.
“We can confirm that the item has been immediately removed from our online store and all physical stores. 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.”
Of course, the statement did not stop the criticism from pouring in on social media.
“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,” Twitter user Michael Bonner wrote. “Gigantic brands like @gucci create offensive “fashion”, quickly apologize, and then state, ‘We did not know.” I don’t care. This is unacceptable.”
The sweatshirt retailed at $890.
The controversy comes at a time when state lawmakers in Virginia have been embroiled in multiple blackface controversies. That adds to the fact that people believe the release was completely out of touch. It also comes after Prada came under fire for a keychain that resembled blackface. The keychain from Prada was available for a cool $550, because “luxury.”
Maybe one day these brands will learn.