Gucci ‘deeply apologizes,’ overwhelmed with backlash for stunningly tone deaf and UGLY ‘fashion statement’

You can’t make this up.

(Gucci product screenshot)

The Italian fashion brand Gucci has been forced to apologize for, delist and discontinue a black-knit women’s turtleneck sweater that allegedly resembled blackface.

Released as early as January as part of the brand’s fall-winter 2018 collection, the sweater boasted an attached balaclava designed to cover the lower part of a woman’s face.

The problem was that the balaclava looked awfully racist to some:

(Gucci product page screenshot)

Note the red lips, which some allege match the lips seen on the blackface costumes used in 19th/20th century minstrel shows. Also note how stunningly ugly this sweater looks (more on this later).

The outrage over the brand’s sweater comes amid the controversy in Virginia, where multiple top-level political figures have been outed for having worn blackface during their college days.

While it’s unclear how and when exactly Gucci’s sweater went viral, by Wednesday it’d provoked so much backlash against the brand that it was forced to issue a public apology.

“Gucci deeply apologizes for the offense caused by the wool balaclava jumper,” the company wrote in a statement posted to Twitter. “We consider diversity to be a fundamental value to be fully upheld, respected, and at the forefront of every decision we make.”


The apology did little to temper the still-growing backlash:


What especially irked critics — besides the fact that Gucci neither employs racial quotas nor runs every product by a black focus group — was that the brand had been selling the sweater during Black History Month. It’s almost as if it never occurred to Gucci employees that the sweater resembled blackface because, wouldn’t you know it, they weren’t obsessively thinking about race when they designed it.

The backlash hasn’t just been limited to complaints about alleged racism. Others have issued more arguably substantive complaints about the sweater’s objective ugliness.


The fact that it didn’t occur to Gucci’s employees that its sweater might be perceived as racist isn’t surprising at all, since Gucci is a fashion company, not a “social justice” nonprofit.

What is truly remarkable is that the employees of one of the world’s top fashion brands didn’t realize that the sweater they had designed looked simply hideous, to be put it lightly.

The sportswear brand Adidas has faced similar racial-grievance-mongering-motivated  backlash this week over an almost entirely white pair of shoes released to commemorate Black History Month:



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