Gucci apologizes after social media users say sweater resembles blackface

Gucci has apologized and discontinued selling a sweater that social media users said resembles blackface because of its design.

Posted: Feb 7, 2019 7:54 AM


Gucci has apologized and discontinued selling a sweater that social media users said resembles blackface because of its design.

In a Twitter post Wednesday, the Italian luxury brand said it "deeply apologizes for the offense caused by the wool balaclava jumper."

The top, which is no longer on the company's website, is a black turtleneck sweater that pulls up over the bottom half of the face with a cut out and oversized red lips around the mouth.

"We can confirm that the item has been immediately removed from our online store and all physical stores," Gucci said in a statement 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."

The sweater had been slammed on social media, with Twitter users saying it resembled blackface and expressing emotions ranging from exasperation to outrage.

"Today Gucci released their Balaclava Knit Top. Sigh. Really Gucci? Really?" Keisha Ka'oir tweeted.

Michael Bonner tweeted his frustration at the constant depiction of racist imagery in the news recently.

"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," he said. "Gigantic brands like @gucci create offensive "fashion", quickly apologize, and then state, 'We did not know." I don't care. This is unacceptable."

One user noted that the controversy was taking place during Black History Month and expressed skepticism that it would stop people from buying the brand.

This is not the first time a fashion brand has been accused of using such imagery. Last year, luxury fashion house Prada said it withdrew products after some items displayed in a Manhattan storefront were seen as depicting blackface imagery. The products, part of Prada's Pradamalia line, were pulled after images surfaced of some merchandise depicting monkey-like figures with black faces and large red lips.

The latest controversy also comes as Virginia Gov. Ralph Northam is facing criticism and calls to resign because of a photograph on his page in his medical school's yearbook showing one person in blackface and another in a Ku Klux Klan robe and hood.

Northam initially apologized for the photo, saying he was in it, without specifying which person he was. He later denied he was in the yearbook photo but admitted he had once dressed in blackface during a dance contest in San Antonio.

Northam met Wednesday with Southern Christian Leadership Conference President Dr. Charles Steele Jr. and Dr. Bernard LaFayette, chairman of the SCLC board, two well-known black leaders from a group once led by Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. The meeting was an effort to better understand how he can move past the scandal that has engulfed his office, an adviser to the Democrat tells CNN.

Mississippi Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Cases: 314509

Reported Deaths: 7247
CountyCasesDeaths
DeSoto21626259
Hinds20359415
Harrison17934309
Rankin13634278
Jackson13447246
Madison10099217
Lee9980174
Jones8381163
Forrest7683152
Lauderdale7191241
Lowndes6401147
Lamar623086
Lafayette6200118
Washington5339134
Bolivar4802132
Oktibbeha462798
Panola4588107
Pearl River4512146
Marshall4443103
Warren4393121
Pontotoc420772
Monroe4113133
Union411076
Neshoba4031176
Lincoln3968110
Hancock379386
Leflore3497125
Sunflower336090
Tate334084
Pike3325105
Scott315973
Alcorn313368
Yazoo311669
Itawamba300477
Copiah297065
Coahoma295479
Simpson295288
Tippah288768
Adams286882
Prentiss279760
Marion269280
Leake268373
Wayne262641
Grenada261487
Covington259681
George248048
Newton246861
Winston227281
Tishomingo226967
Jasper221148
Attala214473
Chickasaw207857
Holmes189173
Clay185454
Stone182833
Tallahatchie178841
Clarke178080
Calhoun170832
Yalobusha164338
Smith162434
Walthall133945
Greene130633
Lawrence128624
Montgomery126942
Noxubee126734
Perry126338
Amite123142
Carroll121829
Webster114532
Jefferson Davis107133
Tunica105726
Claiborne102430
Benton99525
Humphreys96733
Kemper95828
Franklin83823
Quitman80916
Choctaw76418
Wilkinson67331
Jefferson65728
Sharkey50217
Issaquena1686
Unassigned00

Alabama Coronavirus Cases

Cases: 532895

Reported Deaths: 11001
CountyCasesDeaths
Jefferson771431528
Mobile41089808
Madison34837505
Tuscaloosa25810454
Montgomery24355588
Shelby23730249
Baldwin21191309
Lee15892171
Calhoun14522316
Morgan14324279
Etowah13861353
Marshall12250223
Houston10581281
Elmore10060205
Limestone9986151
Cullman9705194
St. Clair9702243
Lauderdale9441242
DeKalb8846187
Talladega8255176
Walker7246277
Autauga6938108
Jackson6815112
Blount6694137
Colbert6310134
Coffee5524119
Dale4850111
Russell443238
Chilton4308112
Franklin426282
Covington4136118
Tallapoosa4039152
Escambia393977
Chambers3578123
Dallas3557152
Clarke351161
Marion3130101
Pike311377
Lawrence300798
Winston275673
Bibb261564
Geneva251477
Marengo249664
Pickens234761
Barbour231756
Hale223277
Butler216469
Fayette212562
Henry189044
Cherokee184745
Randolph181742
Monroe178040
Washington167639
Macon159950
Clay156857
Crenshaw152757
Cleburne149141
Lamar142935
Lowndes139053
Wilcox127130
Bullock122841
Conecuh110629
Coosa107928
Perry107826
Sumter104832
Greene92534
Choctaw61124
Out of AL00
Unassigned00
Tupelo
Clear
53° wxIcon
Hi: 76° Lo: 48°
Feels Like: 53°
Columbus
Clear
53° wxIcon
Hi: 77° Lo: 50°
Feels Like: 53°
Oxford
Clear
48° wxIcon
Hi: 75° Lo: 45°
Feels Like: 48°
Starkville
Clear
48° wxIcon
Hi: 76° Lo: 47°
Feels Like: 48°
High pressure will continue to dominate our weather forecast for this weekend. This will keep our area filled with plenty of sunshine. However, there will be some changes next week in our weahter forecast as low pressure brings back some chances for showers and thunderstorms.
WTVA Radar
WTVA Temperatures
WTVA Severe Weather