A black balaclava sweater from Gucci’s 2018 “Fall Winter” collection has caused an uproar on social media — with some calling it “Haute Couture Blackface for millennials.”
The $900 “knit top” features a large mouth cover with big red lips on it.
“Inspired by vintage ski masks, multicolored knitted balaclavas walked the runway, adding a mysterious feel to this collection,” says an item description from last year. “The Fall Winter 2018 runway show space reflected the stark environment of an operating room, emulating the theme of the collection where reconstructing materials and fabrics created a new identity.”
The sweater couldn’t be found on Gucci’s website Wednesday, but its information was still archived online. Social media users were sharing pics of the listing throughout the day.
“Balaclava knit top by Gucci. Happy Black History Month y’all,” tweeted one person.
“Ah yes, black face but make it fashion,” another said.
User @stegotaurus wrote: “THIIIIIIIS is blackface guys. THIS. huge overdramatic red lips and a literal BLACK face. This is DISGUSTING. I don’t wanna see any of you with Gucci belts and slides after this.”
The backlash caused Gucci to release a statement late Wednesday night, saying it “deeply apologizes for the offense caused” by the sweater.
“We can confirm that the item has been immediately removed from our online store and all physical stores,” the company added. “We consider diversity to be a fundamental value to be fully upheld, respected, and at the forefront of every decision we make. 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.”