Gucci Pulls Polo Neck Sweater After Blackface Comparisons

The Italian label has since apologized for the piece.

Fashion
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Gucci has withdrawn a polo neck sweater from its Fall/Winter 2018 collection, following a backlash over the piece’s resemblance to racist blackface tropes. The black sweater, described as a “balaclava” knit, covers part of the face. This section of the sweater features a cut-out mouth and large red lips, leading to the outcry.

In a statement posted to Twitter, Gucci added that it “deeply apologizes” for the piece. The statement continues: “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.”

Gucci is only the latest brand to withdraw pieces following a backlash over racist imagery. Back in December last year, Prada pulled its “Otto Toto” keychain after Twitter users pointed out its similarity to blackface imagery, while H&M was heavily criticized following insensitive styling of its “Coolest Monkey In The Jungle.”

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