After Gucci’s wool balaclava jumper sparked outrage on social media for appearing to mimic blackface, the company has apologized and removed the product.
The piece from Gucci’s Fall Winter 2018 runway show looks like a black turtleneck that is worn up over the nose, with a red-lined cutout for customers’ mouths. It was inspired by “vintage ski masks,” according to its product description, which says it could also be worn just around the neck. The price: $890.
Amid Black History Month, social media users pointed out that the sweater could be seen as a depiction of blackface.
Wednesday, Gucci issued a statement on Twitter apologizing for “offense” caused by the sweater, saying “we consider diversity to be a fundamental value to be fully upheld, respected, and at the forefront of every decision we make.” The company said it has removed the product from its physical and online stores, and is “learning” from this incident.
While the sweater appears to be unavailable on the Gucci website, photos and a description of the item were still visible on some digital retail sites on Thursday, including Spring.
The move comes after Prada discontinued an animal charm and related products that also appeared to resemble blackface in December.
More: Why blackface just won’t go away
More: Blackface, explained: Why Ralph Northam, Mark Herring and others darkening their faces is such a big deal
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