Fashion brand Gucci has been forced to apologise after releasing a balaclava-style jumper which resembles 'blackface', according to the Evening Standard.
The black piece of attire was being sold as part of their Fall/Winter 2018 campaign, and covers the lower half of the face and red mouth cut-out.
The jumper has now been removed from sale, and the brand has issued an apology after facing massive social media backlash for the offensive material.
Gucci deeply apologizes for the offense caused by the wool balaclava jumper.
We consider diversity to be a fundamental value to be fully upheld, respected, and at the forefront of every decision we make.
Full statement below. pic.twitter.com/P2iXL9uOhs
— gucci (@gucci) February 7, 2019
Their statement was released by a spokesman for the luxury fashion house, saying that they consider diversity a 'fundamental value' of their company and that the incident would be adapted into a 'powerful learning movement';
"Gucci deeply apologises for the offence 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 organisation and turning this incident into a powerful learning moment for the Gucci team and beyond," it concluded.
Balaclava knit top by Gucci. Happy Black History Month y’all. pic.twitter.com/HA7sz7xtOQ
— Rashida (@fuckrashida) February 6, 2019
The description for Gucci's item originally read;
“Inspired by vintage ski masks, multi-coloured knitted balaclavas walked the runway, adding a mysterious feel to this collection. This knit top combines the accessory with the ready-to-wear collection.”
Social media users managed to get screenshots of the $890 jumper before it was pulled, ironically noting that it was Black History Month.
Gucci out here selling blackface sweaters. https://t.co/oSIZzC9o2X
— Cain Knight (@_cainknight) February 6, 2019
One Twitter user wrote; “Haute Couture Blackface for the millennials?”
Gucci's problems with fashion mishaps is the latest incident in a number of racially-charged mistakes by designer fashion brands.
Prada removed items last month over products which were also concerning for the public.
Feature image: India Today