Gucci is one of those fashion brands that famously pushes the limits of what is considered ‘far-shun’. Remember when they debuted those freaky deaky furry horse bit loafers and we were all like ‘whaaaaa’?

But then it wasn’t long before we changed our minds and decided ‘actually, they’re kinda cool’ and proceeded to spend the next few weeks/months honing down more affordable alternatives.

Granted, you’re never quite sure if your first opinion was wrong, or if you’re just turning into a mild fashion wanker, but anyway, the important thing is that, in that instance, we ended up loving something we initially had a visceral ‘DAFUQ?’ reaction to.

Let’s put that down as a ‘win’ for avant-garde style shall we?

But now, in stark contrast, is one of Gucci’s newest designs, which can only be described as a total ‘loss’ that nobody will ever ‘come round’ to.

Here it is:

Source: Gucci


Aside from looking utterly bizarre, the internet was quick to point out the sweater’s bigger issue: its striking resemblance to blackface:

“So ya’ll just going to let act like they ain’t know better?  STOP supporting brands that mock you! #BoycottGucci” wrote one.

“How does this keep happening with supposedly ‘luxury’ brands? No-one at Gucci clocked the similarity between the racist imagery of their $890 blackface jumper and Prada’s keychain – the latter of which was pulled from stores less than two months ago? Or do they just not care?” added another.

Many attributed the massive #fail to a broader industry issue: the lack of diversity in the Gucci team:

“It’s 2019, when are we going to stop using stereotypes etc as marketing tactics? As a Marketer/advertisier, there is a team responsible for checking stuff like this. But the problem is: if no one sees a problem with it on the team. @gucci you’re dead wrong.”

“If you hire more Black people and cultivate an environment where people on all levels of the company feel comfortable to speak up incidents like this will be avoided.”

Gucci has since realised the magnitude of their cock-up and issued an apology:

“Gucci deeply apologizes for the offense caused by the wool balaclava jumper,” writes the brand. “We can confirm that the item has been immediately removed from our online store and all physical stores. 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.”


Image: Gucci