深膚色、紅唇、黑髮和大眼等外觀特徵，在非裔美國人民權運動開始前，一直都作為用來影射、嘲諷非裔人士的形象，甚至到今日也同樣有不少種族歧視者熱愛以此大作文章。而今回 Gucci 雖是無心之過，卻也犯了相同的錯，在其推出的一款 Balaclava 毛衣的設計上，採用全黑色調打造，但在嘴巴位置卻以鮮紅色呈現，無疑是犯了大忌，而很快 Gucci 創意總監 Alessandro Michele 也馬上於公司內部發了一封內部信，並為此致歉。
在信件中，Michele 首先解釋了創造這件毛衣的設計師的設計理念，並提到引發種族歧視爭議讓他感到非常悲傷，即便這樣的事件並非刻意為之，但其仍願意為此事全權負責。除此之外，他更指出 Gucci 已經於全球店點迅速展開行動，除了下架商品之外更加強員工的包容性和多樣性等文化意識教育，最後則是再次為這起事件致歉。
I feel the need to write you all these few words to give a name to the pain of these days: my own and that of the people who saw in one of my creative projects an intolerable insult.
It’s important for me to let you know that the jumper actually had very specific references, completely different from what was ascribed instead. It was a tribute to Leigh Bowery, to his camouflage art, to his ability to challenge the bourgeois conventions and conformism, to his eccentricity as a performer, to his extraordinary vocation to masquerade meant as a hymn to freedom.
The fact that, contrarily to my intentions, that turtle-neck jumper evoked a racist imagery causes me the greatest grief. But I am aware that sometimes our actions can end up with causing unintentional effects. It is therefore necessary taking full accountability for these effects.
For this reason our company immediately apologized and withdraw the garment that produced such controversies. As you may have read from Marco in his letter, we are putting in place a series of immediate actions across the world that will increase inclusivity, diversity, participation and cultural awareness at any level and in any workplace. We are truly committed in facing what happened as a crucial learning moment for everybody.
I’ve always fought to grant myself and any other the possibility to be different. I’ve hardly been through this fight all over my personal life and I later brought it into my work. Here I always tried to give citizenship’s right to the traditionally marginalized, to those who felt unrepresented, to those that history silenced or made believe they were worthless.
My aim, in which personal and political are intimately interwoven, has always been to turn the pain into a chant. Therefore I’ve always worked to let alternative imageries loaded with joyful inclusion emerge. Imageries able to celebrate diversity in every form. Imageries able to favour empowerment and self-determination processes. This is who I am and these are the things I believe in.
I really shelter the suffer of all I have offended. And I am heartfully sorry for this hurt. I hope I can rely on the understanding of those who know me and can acknowledge the constant tension towards the celebration of diversity that has always shaped my work. This is the only celebration I’m willing to stand for.”
另外有興趣的讀者亦可留意 New Balance 經典鞋型全新世代 990v5 登場的消息。