Gucci apologises after backlash over ‘blackface’ turtleneck jumper
Gucci has issued an apology after a social media backlash over a turtleneck jumper that, when pulled up, appeared to make it look as though the wearer was dressing in blackface.
- Twitter users roundly criticised Gucci for the offensive turtleneck
- It had reportedly been on sale for more than $1,200
- Gucci said it has removed the jumper from sale online and in-store
The Italian fashion brand was strongly criticised on social media after several Twitter users criticised the jumper’s design, saying it appeared to resemble blackface and was offensive.
The black turtleneck pulls up over the wearer’s nose and has a cut-out around the mouth ringed by red stitching to resemble oversized lips.
In a statement posted to Twitter, the luxury brand said it had removed the item from sale, both online and in its stores.
Gucci deeply apologizes for the offense caused by the wool balaclava jumper. We consider diversity to be a fundamental value to be fully upheld, respected, and at the forefront of every decision we make. Full statement below.
“Gucci deeply apologises for the offense caused by the wool balaclava jumper,” the statement said.
“We consider diversity to be a fundamental value to be fully upheld, respected and at the forefront of every decision we make.”
It’s 2019, when are we going to stop using stereotypes etc as marketing tactics? As a Marketer/advertisier, there is a team responsible for checking stuff like this. But the problem is: if no one sees a problem with it on the team. @gucci you’re dead wrong.
One Twitter user said the jumper was “absolutely unacceptable” and had called on Gucci to remove it and apologise immediately.
“The lack of originality and creativity these brands have is absolutely unsettling and the frequent use of black trauma for capital gain is extra gross,” she wrote.
Another woman wrote that she had been a fan of the brand and had planned on buying one of their mainstay jacquard cardigans but now “it’s a no for me dawg!”
Several other commenters said the racial misstep demonstrated a lack of diversity within the fashion house.
“If you hire more black people and cultivate an environment where people on all levels of the company feel comfortable to speak up, incidents like this will be avoided,” one woman tweeted.
Gucci alluded to this criticism in its Twitter statement.
“We are fully committed to increasing diversity throughout our organisation and turning this incident into a powerful learning moment for the Gucci team and beyond,” the brand said.