Although most of us can't afford the luxury of shopping at Gucci, it can still be fun to look through their website from time to time and dream of what you might be able to add to your wardrobe one day. Recently though, it came to some online shopper's attention that Gucci had added some... Questionable merchandise to their website. After going viral, Twitter users are unsatisfied with Gucci's apology for releasing a blackface sweater.
We have ONE month to celebrate the history of African Americans. Feb. 2019: Multiple accounts of politicians wearing blackface. And now news Gucci was selling a $890 blackface sweater. We are a nation desperately in need of diversity training. #gucci #BlackHistoryMonth pic.twitter.com/tHXEAP2pjN— Michelle Singletary (@SingletaryM) February 7, 2019
As you can see, the sweater was worn by a white model, pulled up over her nose to cover the majority of her face. Seeing as winter is here, and it has been quite cold, it might be understandable that Gucci was trying to keep their customers warm. However, there's also a large red border outlining the lips, which could easily be mistaken to represent a second mouth. Without a doubt, this sweater is easily interpreted as a form of blackface.
As if the design of the sweater isn't bad enough, the timing of its release couldn't be worse. The month of February is widely known as Black History Month - a time dedicated to celebrating the black culture all around the world. Dealing with hate crimes is hard at any time, but for Gucci to release something like this right now seems particularly insensitive. Many people took to Twitter to weigh in, including Piers Morgan:
I refuse to believe NOBODY at @gucci realised this would create a 'black face' racial firestorm....— Piers Morgan (@piersmorgan) February 7, 2019
...unless every member of their staff is a complete halfwit....
..which leads me to suspect they did it deliberately...
...which, if true, makes Gucci despicably cynical. pic.twitter.com/0paM2wgM7G
So @gucci puts out a sweater that looks like blackface......— Tariq Nasheed 🇺🇸 (@tariqnasheed) February 7, 2019
On Black History Month....
And then issues an apology because they didn't know that blackface images are racist.
If you hire more Black people and cultivate an environment where people on all levels of the company feel comfortable to speak up incidents like this will be avoided.— The GLOWBOSS (@VanessaVeasley) February 7, 2019
From the angered tweets, it's obvious to see that people aren't taking the situation lightly, and they definitely aren't accepting Gucci's apology yet. The item was retailing online and in store for $890 but has since been removed from all Gucci websites and locations.