Gucci has apologized and stopped selling a sweater that societal media users stated resembles blackface because of its design.
In a Twitter post Wednesday, the Italian luxury brand said that it “deeply apologizes for the offense brought on by the wool balaclava jumper.” The shirt, that is no longer on the company’s site, is a black turtleneck sweater which pulls up over the bottom half of the face with a cut out and oversize red lips around the mouth area.
“We can confirm that the item has been immediately removed from our online shop and all physical shops,” Gucci said in a statement on Wednesday. “We are wholly committed to increasing diversity throughout our business and turning this event into a powerful learning second for the Gucci staff and outside.”
The sweater was slammed on social networking, together with Twitter users saying it resembled blackface and expressing emotions which range from exasperation to outrage.
“Now Gucci introduced their Balaclava Knit Top. Sigh. Really Gucci? Really?” Michael Bonner tweeted his frustration in the constant depiction of racist imagery in the news recently.
“One day I am going to provide a prolific dissertation on how it feels to reside in a constant cycle of Illness as a black guy,” he explained. “Gigantic brands such as @gucci produce offensive”fashion”, quickly apologize, then state,’We didn’t know.” I really don’t care.
One user mentioned that the controversy had been happening during Black History Month and voiced doubt that it would stop people from purchasing the brand.
This isn’t the first time a fashion manufacturer has been accused of using these vision. This past year, luxury fashion house Prada said it withdrew products following some things displayed at a Manhattan storefront have been viewed as depicting blackface vision. The goods, a part of Prada’s Pradamalia lineup, were pulled following pictures surfaced of a product depicting monkey-like figures with black faces and big red lips.
The latest controversy comes as Virginia Gov. Ralph Northam is facing criticism and calls to resign due to a picture on his page in his medical school’s yearbook showing one person in blackface and another at a Ku Klux Klan robe and hood.
Northam originally dreamed for the photo, stating he had been inside, without specifying which person he was. He later denied he was in the yearbook photograph but confessed he had dressed in blackface during a dance competition in San Antonio. The meeting was an effort to better comprehend how he could proceed past the scandal which has engulfed his office, an advisor to the Democrat tells CNN.