Customers do not like Gucci’s latest look.
On Wednesday, the luxury brand issued a public apology for its balaclava black sweater after it sparked backlash online for resembling blackface. Online, the $890 sweater was shown with the collar pulled up over the model’s nose and an opening with a red border outlining the mouth.
Many pointed out not only the design, but also the timing of the sale. “Balaclava knit top by Gucci,” one critic tweeted. “Happy Black History Month y’all.”
“@gucci ah yes, black face but make it fashion huh?” another wrote online.
“Gucci deeply apologizes for the offense caused by the wool balaclava jumper,” the company tweeted. “We consider diversity to be a fundamental value to be fully upheld, respected, and at the forefront of every decision we make.”
“We can confirm that the item has been immediately removed from our online store and all physical stores,” they confirmed in a longer statement. “We are fully committed to increasing diversity throughout our organization and turning this incident into a powerful learning moment for the Gucci team and beyond.”
It is a prominent time for public conversation about blackface, particularly as Virginia government officials remain under fire for wearing blackface in the past.