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Gucci pulls $890 'blackface' jumper; apologizes for offense caused

The company has pulled the item from all its stores

Image source: CNN video screenshot

Luxury fashion label Gucci has pulled its black balaclava sweater after some complained that the sweater looks like blackface makeup.

The company issued a statement Wednesday night apologizing for the offense it may have caused.

"Gucci deeply apologizes for the offense caused by the wool balaclava jumper," the company wrote on Twitter.

The $890 ski mask-style top featured large red lips that outlined a person's mouth.

"Inspired by vintage ski masks, multicolored knitted balaclavas walked the runway, adding a mysterious feel to this collection," an item description read last year, according to the New York Post. "The Fall Winter 2018 runway show space reflected the stark environment of an operating room, emulating the theme of the collection where reconstructing materials and fabrics created a new identity."

Gucci also assured customers that the item has been pulled from all stores.

"We can confirm that the item has been immediately removed from our online store and all physical stores," the statement said.

What was the reaction on social media?

Reactions on social media were mixed.

"So @gucci puts out a sweater that looks like blackface......On Black History Month....And then issues an apology because they didn't know that blackface images are racist," Tariq Nasheed wrote.

"It's spreading too look at all these racist people doing blackface too - should clearly only have white balaclavas," Whatspctoday replied in a comment to Gucci's statement.

"You mean to tell me NO ONE saw the awful Blackface ressemblance [sic] with this shirt? This is clear cut proof that there is a HUGE lack of diversity at #Gucci. Happy Black History Month guys," Isabelle Berry tweeted.

"Why is everything that covers your face black now have to be associated with blackface racism from pre civil rights America? If I want to wear my ski mask for the cold nowadays, I have to worry about being labeled as racist and offensive. What's next? Can't paint face black...," Twitter user TopHam tweeted.

What else did Gucci say?

The company said it's committed to diversity and that the incident has been a "powerful learning moment."

"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 organization and turning this incident into a powerful learning moment for the Gucci team and beyond," it continued.

One last thing…
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