Race & Identity
Gucci Is Being Accused Of Racism Over Turtleneck That Seems To Simulate Blackface
The piece was released as part of Gucci's Fall/Winter 2018 collection.
We’re barely a week into Black History Month, and another brand has made a tone-deaf mistake. The culprit this time is Gucci.
The brand's offense? This turtleneck.
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Balaclava knit top by Gucci. Happy Black History Month y’all. pic.twitter.com/HA7sz7xtOQ— Rashida (@fuckrashida) February 6, 2019
They have a mask to match so you can have a chic classic black face moment without the mess of paint pic.twitter.com/xe373cY4h9— Rashida (@fuckrashida) February 6, 2019
A black turtleneck with big red lips.
Understandably, many people were perplexed by this creation.
I get the Idea they were going for... BUT WHY DID IT HAVE TO BE BLACK?— Marzellicus D'Gr8 (@FalsettoKillah) February 6, 2019
They could have literally chosen any other color scheme, but they went with this. It's intentional.— Cheyenne 😎😘 (@TiffanyCPadgett) February 6, 2019
Honestly, these companies all see us as a joke. At this point this is international. Don’t they see what’s going on in Virginia?— Bello (@iam_Tuns) February 6, 2019
Brands do this all the time. The racism causes outrage, but it’s subtle enough for them to make excuses and use the attention to boost sales. I feel like there are plenty of people who will buy from these brands BECAUSE of their racism— stephanie (@stephanievigile) February 6, 2019
Gucci issued a tweet apologizing for the turtleneck, which has also disappeared from the website. The piece was part of the brand's Fall/Winter 2018 balaclava collection which was said to be inspired by face masks and was "immediately removed from our online store and all physical stores," the statement read.
Gucci deeply apologizes for the offense caused by the wool balaclava jumper.— gucci (@gucci) February 7, 2019
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
Blackface and racist imagery is, of course, an ongoing issue in the fashion industry.
In December, Prada apologized after charms of monkey-like creatures drew criticism, as Blavity reported.
“They are imaginary creatures not intended to have any reference to the real world and certainly not blackface,” the brand said in a statement. “Prada Group never had the intention of offending anyone and we abhor all forms of racism and racist imagery. In this interest we will withdraw the characters in question from display and circulation."
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