// Gucci embroiled in racism row after images of its blackface jumper went viral
// The £688 women’s “balaclava jumper” has been removed from Gucci stores and website
// The “vintage ski mask inspired” jumper is still available to buy on the Spring website
Gucci has pulled a controversial jumper from its stores and website after becoming embroiled in a blackface racism row.
The luxury fashion retailer faced criticism after an image of its women’s “balaclava jumper”, a black top that features neck with a mouth cut-out outlined in red, went viral on social media.
Gucci has since issued an apology “for the offence caused” and has removed the item from its stores and online.
However, the £688 jumper is still available for purchase on the shopping website Spring, where it is captioned as being part of the “The Fall Winter 2018 runway show” and was “inspired by vintage ski masks”.
The jumper met with a barrage of criticism when the images went viral on social media.
“Haute Couture Blackface for the millennials???” one person said on Twitter.
Another said: “Gucci made a very racist sweater. I still can’t figure out why they thought this was ok?!”
Is this the 2019 version of blackface? You mean Gucci couldn't find a black model to wear a regular knit top? This is weird. And racist. https://t.co/B1jKDJcdmY
— Catherine Amayi (@catherine_amayi) February 7, 2019
One woman wrote on Twitter: “I am a Gucci fan, and I was going to buy a jacquard cardigan because it’s a forever piece, but until they and other luxury brands hire some people of colour to consider the imagery of items like the ‘blackface’ balaclava sweater… it’s a no for me.”
In a statement, Gucci said: “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.”