Gucci Issues Apology Following Backlash Over Racist Sweater
Designer brand, Gucci has been forced to issue an apology after releasing a knit sweater costing $890 (N321,290) which resembles someone wearing blackface.
Gucci met was criticised with a huge backlash for the controversial sweater that has a neck part that can be pulled up to cover the mouth and nose.
Following the negative criticism for the product which many tagged racist because it reminds them of blackface from the past, the luxury fashion brand has issued an apology.
The fashion house wrote,
“Gucci deeply apologizes for the offense caused by the wool balaclava jumper. We can confirm that the item has been immediately removed from our online store and all physical stores.
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.”
Blackface is a form of theatrical make-up used predominantly by non-black performers to represent a caricature of a black person. The use of blackface gained prominence in the 19th century and hugely contributed to the spread of racial stereotypes. By the middle of the century, blackface minstrel shows had become a distinctive American artform, translating formal works such as opera into popular terms for a general audience. Early in the 20th century, blackface branched off from the minstrel show and became a form in its own right. In the United States, blackface had largely fallen out of favor by the turn of the 21st century, and is now generally considered offensive and disrespectful, though the practice continues in other countries.