Gucci apologizes after social media users say sweater resembles blackface

Article Image

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.

Confirmed Cases: 15229

Reported Deaths: 723
CountyConfirmedDeaths
Hinds99925
Lauderdale73561
Madison72023
Scott65012
Neshoba63038
Jones59825
Forrest55338
DeSoto5337
Rankin4217
Leake42112
Holmes39728
Copiah3104
Jackson30513
Attala29216
Yazoo2734
Newton2714
Leflore25831
Harrison2577
Lincoln25628
Monroe25525
Lamar2355
Oktibbeha23512
Lowndes2119
Pearl River20931
Pike20211
Adams19615
Noxubee1856
Wayne1771
Warren1719
Washington1687
Covington1652
Bolivar16011
Jasper1574
Smith15011
Lee1496
Kemper14411
Clarke14318
Chickasaw13312
Lafayette1314
Coahoma1214
Carroll11711
Marion1159
Clay1124
Winston1121
Claiborne1112
Lawrence1021
Simpson1010
Yalobusha905
Hancock9011
Tate891
Grenada893
Wilkinson889
Itawamba877
Union835
Marshall833
Montgomery831
Sunflower813
Jefferson Davis772
Tippah7311
Panola703
Webster691
Calhoun644
Humphreys607
Amite601
Walthall550
Tunica543
Prentiss523
Perry503
Choctaw432
Jefferson421
Tishomingo320
Pontotoc323
Stone300
Franklin282
Tallahatchie271
Quitman260
George251
Alcorn171
Benton150
Greene121
Sharkey70
Unassigned00

Alabama Coronavirus Cases

Confirmed Cases: 17359

Reported Deaths: 618
CountyConfirmedDeaths
Mobile2191115
Jefferson1780102
Montgomery163238
Tuscaloosa73814
Marshall6879
Franklin5457
Lee54033
Shelby50319
Tallapoosa42364
Butler40217
Chambers35325
Walker3442
Elmore3398
Madison3274
Baldwin2839
Dallas2603
Morgan2511
Etowah24811
DeKalb2433
Lowndes23812
Coffee2291
Sumter2206
Autauga2164
Houston2094
Bullock2034
Pike1980
Colbert1782
Russell1670
Marengo1636
Lauderdale1612
Hale1598
Calhoun1543
Choctaw1518
Barbour1501
Wilcox1447
Clarke1422
Cullman1260
Randolph1257
Marion12111
St. Clair1181
Pickens1114
Dale1100
Talladega1093
Chilton1001
Limestone940
Greene944
Winston880
Covington771
Jackson772
Crenshaw763
Macon754
Henry742
Bibb721
Washington686
Blount611
Escambia573
Lawrence480
Geneva400
Conecuh391
Coosa381
Monroe372
Perry370
Cherokee373
Clay272
Lamar230
Fayette150
Cleburne141
Unassigned00
Tupelo
Clear
79° wxIcon
Hi: 83° Lo: 59°
Feels Like: 80°
Columbus
Clear
81° wxIcon
Hi: 84° Lo: 59°
Feels Like: 82°
Oxford
Clear
77° wxIcon
Hi: 81° Lo: 57°
Feels Like: 78°
Starkville
Clear
77° wxIcon
Hi: 83° Lo: 55°
Feels Like: 79°
WTVA Radar
WTVA Temperatures
WTVA Severe Weather