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Gucci has apologised for selling a jumper that 'resembles blackface'.
The Italian designer has released a statement after getting slammed for a black knit balaclava that features a cut-out at the mouth, outlined in red.
Gucci deeply apologizes for the offense caused by the wool balaclava jumper.
We consider diversity to be a fundamental value to be fully upheld, respected, and at the forefront of every decision we make.
Full statement below. pic.twitter.com/P2iXL9uOhs
- gucci (@gucci) February 7, 2019
The $890 (£688) jumper is still available to buy on the shopping website Spring and is described as being part of 'the Fall Winter 2018 runway show inspired by vintage ski masks'.
The knit jumper was criticised on social media by people who called it 'offensive' and 'unacceptable'.
Balaclava knit top by Gucci. Happy Black History Month y'all. pic.twitter.com/HA7sz7xtOQ
- Rashida (@fuckrashida) February 6, 2019
One person tweeted: "This shit is absolutely unacceptable and @gucci needs to get rid of this shit IMMEDIATELY and apologise to OUR community. The lack of originality and creativity these brands have is absolutely unsettling & the frequent use of black trauma for capital gain is extra gross."
Another said: "Yes, and they knew that they could just give a canned public apology later. This is sadly becoming the norm...to disgrace and erase. It's unacceptable, disrespectful & lame (but they know that already)," another said.
A third person commented: "Could Gucci really be that unaware or was it intentional-either way it is reprehensible."
While one woman said: "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."
The controversy surrounding Gucci comes after another Italian designer, Prada, faced backlash for a similar situation.
In December, the luxury brand was forced to pull a collection of controversial figurines after it received a barrage of criticism, with many calling the the accessories 'racist'.
A New York City lawyer called out Prada after spotting the Pradamalia line of $550 (£426) figurines.
The set featured two characters that a number of people have described as perpetuating 'racist and denigrating blackface imagery'.
The company apologised with a statement that said: "Prada Group abhors racist imagery. The Pradamalia are fantasy charms composed of elements of the Prada oeuvre. They are imaginary creatures not intended to have any reference to the real world and certainly not blackface."
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