Gucci has removed a sweater from all online stores following public uproar over the sweater’s design. The $900 black balaclava sweater from Gucci’s 2018 Fall/Winter collection caused a furor on Black Twitter.
Twitter users directed angry messages to Gucci’s Twitter account, complaining that the sweater reminded them of blackface.
Blackface is dominating the headlines after two top Virginia Democratic lawmakers admitted wearing makeup to darken their skin as part of Halloween costumes.
According to Gucci, the balaclava sweater is “inspired by vintage ski masks.”
Models wore the multicolored knitted sweaters on runways during fashion shows in 2018.
The sweater vanished from Gucci’s website on Wednesday following uproar on social media from users already irate by Virginia Governor Ralph Northam and Virginia Attorney General Mark Herring admitting they wore blackface to Halloween parties.
“Balaclava knit top by Gucci. Happy Black History Month y’all,” tweeted one user.
“Ah yes, black face but make it fashion,” another user tweeted.
Gucci released a statement late Wednesday night, apologizing for the sweater.
“We can confirm that the item has been immediately removed from our online store and all physical stores,” the company added. “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.”