Gucci withdraws jumper after ‘blackface’ backlash

Luxury fashion brand Gucci has withdrawn a woollen jumper
from sale after the item was criticised for “resembling
blackface.”
The black “balaclava jumper” covered the lower half of the face
and featured a red cut-out around the mouth.
The item prompted a backlash on social media by users who
claimed the design was offensive.
In a statement, Gucci apologised for any offence caused and
said it would be removed from sale.
The brand said it would turn the incident “into a powerful learning
moment for the Gucci team” and was committed to increasing
diversity.
Behind the legacy of America’s blackface
Blackface has a history of perpetuating offensive and racist
stereotypes of African Americans dating back more than 200
years in the United States.
On social media, many criticised the design for invoking such
stereotypes.
Gucci’s troubles mark the latest in a string of missteps by luxury
fashion brands.
Last month, Prada withdrew items over concerns it had depicted
blackface imagery. The label pulled products from a line of
goods called Pradamalia which appeared to resemble black
monkeys with large red lips.
Are adverts being deliberately racist?
Dolce & Gabbana cancelled its Shanghai fashion show amid
accusations of racism .
The brand posted videos of a Chinese model eating Italian foods
like pizza and pasta with chopsticks.
Widely seen as offensive, the campaign led to a severe backlash
in China with several retailers pulling the brand’s products.
D&G also caused controversy in 2016 when it called an item of
footwear in its spring/summer collection a “slave sandal”.

 

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