MILAN – Facing accusations that a balaclava-style sweater available on its online shop and physical stores evoked blackface, Gucci issued a statement on Thursday through its Twitter account.
“We consider diversity to be a fundamental value to be fully upheld, respected, and at the forefront of every decision we make,” the statement read.
The black knit top is a turtleneck style covering the bottom half of the face with a cutout and giant red lips around the mouth. The item is no longer available on the brand’s online shop and the company said it was removed it from brick-and-mortar stores, as well.
“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,” the company remarked.
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. pic.twitter.com/P2iXL9uOhs
— gucci (@gucci) February 7, 2019
Social media users, especially on Twitter, expressed a wave of disapproval.
“Balaclava knit top by Gucci. Happy Black History Month y’all,” wrote Rashida, pointing to the annual observance in the U.S. and Canada celebrating