Maria Agcopra – Fourth Estate Contributor
Los Angeles, CA, United States (4E) – Italian fashion brand Gucci apologizes for a designer sweater designed by Alessandro Michele after facing major backlash on Twitter and Instagram for perpetrating ‘blackface’.
Blackface is a theatrical make-up worn by non-black performers which is entrenched in American history along with racist segregation and slavery. It started as an early form of entertainment dating back to the 16th century until it was called out for its offensive nature in the 1950s Civil Rights movement.
The Blackface resembling balaclava knit jumper appeared on Gucci’s online stores— an all black wool knit which neckline reached just below the nose and a hole with a red lip design for the mouth— retailing at $890 as part of its Autumn/Winter collection.
The product image circulated throughout social media through the user ‘Rashida’ when she tweeted “They have a mask to match so you can have a chic classic black face moment without the mess of paint.”
Social media users pointed out the offensiveness and insensitivity of the design, calling out Gucci through opinion posts and memes and citing that it was currently Black History month in the United States.
Gucci issued a statement on Wednesday through their Twitter account tweeting that they apologize for the offense caused by the jumper and that they consider diversity to be a fundamental value that should be fully upheld, respected and at the forefront in everything they make.
Gucci added that it has removed the item from their online site and physical stores and that the incident is a learning moment for their team.
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