Italian luxury brand Gucci has promised to increase diversity after social media users said its black wool sweater that appears to feature oversized red lips resembles historically racist depictions of black people.
In a Wednesday tweet, Gucci apologized for “the offense caused” by the sweater. The best, which has been expelled from the brand’s on the online and physical stores, is a dark black turtleneck that pulls up over the bottom half of the face, like a balaclava.
The area around the mouth highlights what look like curiously large red lips encompassing a pattern for the client’s own lips.
Social media users, especially those on Twitter, reprimanded the design, saying it looked like blackface.
Numerous likewise called attention to the episode happened amid February, which is seen as Black History Month in the United States and Canada.
“We consider diversity to be a fundamental value to be fully upheld, respected and at the forefront of every decision we make,” said Gucci in its apology. “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.”
In December, fellow fashion mark Prada quit selling a line of frill that highlighted a character with darker skin and exaggerated red lips after complaints they resembled blackface, the Associated Press reports.