Gucci withdraw £688 polo neck jumper after blackface claims
Gucci has apologised and removed the jumper from its website
Designer fashion brand Gucci have removed an $890 (£688) polo neck jumper from its stores and its website after claims that it resembled blackface.
The “balaclava” knit was released as part of the autumn/winter 2018 collection. The garment covers the bottom half of your face, with a mouth hole outlined with fake red lips.
After its release, social media users on both Instagram and Twitter posted pictures of the jumper, pointing out that it resembled blackface, and highlighting the fact that it is currently black history month in the United States.
One person tweeted: “Balaclava knit top by Gucci. Happy Black History Month y’all.”
Another added: "Gucci was right on time for black history month with the foolishness huh..."
A lack of black designers at the brand was blamed for the mistake by some.
Gucci apologised on Wednesday night, announcing that the jumper would be removed from its site and stores.
Gucci said: “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 organisation [sic].”
The brand insisted it was “fully committed to increasing diversity”, and said it would turn the affair “into a powerful learning moment for the Gucci team."
The product information, which is no longer viewable online, described the jumper as: “Inspired by vintage ski masks, multicoloured [sic] knitted balaclavas walked the runway, adding a mysterious feel to this collection.
“The fall/winter 2018 runway show space reflected the stark environment of an operating room, emulating the theme of the collection where reconstructing materials and fabrics created a new identity.”