Images via Spring

Last week, Gucci faced backlash over a US$890 balaclava that was deemed by social media users to resemble blackface. The luxury fashion retailer has publicly apologized for retailing the piece, which has since been removed from stores, including third-party ones.

The black sweater had a mouth opening with a red lip-like feature similar to racist caricatures of people of African descent.

“We consider diversity to be a fundamental value to be fully upheld, respected, and at the forefront of every decision we make,” Gucci later affirmed on social media.

Fashion blog Fashionista has since gotten hold of a note circulated internally within Gucci that suggests both CEO Marco Bizzarri and Creative Director Alessandro Michele are truly apologetic over the controversy.

“We made a mistake, a big one,” Bizzarri penned in the lengthy letter. “Because of cultural ignorance, but ignorance is not an excuse. Yet there is no way of thinking nor believing that this could have ever been intentional…”

“This process takes time, as any behavioral change does, evolving every day and mistakes may happen along the way. We thought we were standing in a better position, and we need to recognize that we are not… We will take on this challenge as a mandate to develop a stronger organization. This is a commitment we all share.”

You can read the full note here.

[via Fashionista, cover image via Spring]

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