Gucci Faces Backlash Over ‘Blackface’ Sweater

Written by Perry Wyatt |

Italian fashion house Gucci has pulled an $890 (£689) sweater from its shops after receiving complaints saying that it resembles blackface.

The “balaclava” knit is part of the autumn/winter 2018 collection and is a black sweater that’s neck extends and covers the bottom part of the face and has a cut-out mouth with a pair of red lips.

Online users have accused the designer of racial insensitivity and racism with individuals voicing their rage against the brand on Twitter.

Unfortunately, this is not the first time in recent times that a fashion house like Gucci has come underfire and been accused of racism. In December, Prada withdrew some of its own products after concerns that dolls they had made were blackface with dark skin and exaggerated red lips.

Prada has since issued an apology and withdrew the dolls from public purchase. In November, designers Dolce & Gabbana postponed their Shanghai fashion show after accusations of racism. The backlash followed a promotional video featuring a Chinese model eating Italian foods including pizza and pasta with chopsticks was released before the show took place. The image led to a backlash in China and several prominent retailers withdrawing the brand’s products.

Gucci has since issued a statement apologising for the insensitivity.

Big fashion houses such as Gucci are arguably the main voices of the fashion industry; as leaders they should know better and be more culturally sensitive in their designs and their endeavours.