There’s no denying that racial tension, political motive, and social standing is dividing our country. Whether it’s a gay actor being attacked for being black, or people of color being wrongfully detained by immigration, it seems like every day you hear about black and brown people being persecuted just because of the color of their skin. The continuing onslaught isn’t only happening by ignorant politicians or clueless teens, but also by the fashion elite.
Gucci — the billion-dollar luxury brand that has been in business since the 1920s — took down the sale of their sweater from their website after people on social media said it was “blackface.”
The sweater, retailing for $890, is described as a Balaclava knit sweater from their Fall/Winter 2018 collection. It resembles a black turtle neck, but their version is the knitted neck covering being pulled halfway to the person’s face with the only exposure being the eyes and mouth. The mouth opening is outlined in red, as in to show red lips. They had a similar look for their runway show, but in that version, the male model only wore the knitted mouthpiece and not the entire black sweater.
People on social media blasted the fashion empire for their racist sweater.
So @gucci puts out a sweater that looks like blackface……
On Black History Month….
And then issues an apology because they didn't know that blackface images are racist.
— Tariq Nasheed (@tariqnasheed) February 7, 2019
“Today Gucci released their Balaclava Knit Top. Sigh. Really Gucci? Really?” Keisha Ka’oir tweeted. Tariq Nasheed also tweeted: So @gucci puts out a sweater that looks like blackface…… On Black History Month… And then issues an apology because they didn’t know that blackface images are racist.”
Gucci did release an apology via Twitter, which stated: “We can confirm that the item has been immediately removed from our online store and all physical stores,” Gucci said on Wednesday. “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.”
Just last month, another fashion empire — this time Prada — sold and featured “blackface” monkeys in their New York stores. They too apologized and pulled the items down.
Michael Bonner, a teacher, tweeted: “One day I am going to deliver a prolific dissertation on how it feels to live in a continuous cycle of disrespect as a black man. Gigantic brands like @gucci create offensive ‘fashion’, quickly apologize, and then state ‘We did not know’. I don’t care. This is unacceptable.”