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Over the last couple of weeks, there have been countless articles dealing with Gucci’s blackface scandal. Every media added little pieces to the global story. Needless to say, this scandal was hard to follow. So, we decided to gather the relevant information to give you a quick summary of the story.

 

First, The sweater

Photo Credits: gucci.com (screenshot)

 

 

In early February, Gucci released what they called the wool balaclava jumper, a $ 890 USD sweater. The piece was crafted by Alessandro Michele, the creative director of the Italian house. He reported that he sought his inspiration in Leigh Bowery‘s work, an artist and fashion designer who often used flamboyant face makeup and costumes. This particular piece of clothing is behind the whole Gucci blackface scandal.

 

 

Photo Credit: GETTY IMAGES

 

Although we can see the similarities between Leigh Bowery’s work and the sweater, the community is not to blame for interpreting racism. In fact, the piece strangely looks like ”blackface”, an ancient form of theatrical makeup used to represent a caricature of a black person. 

Photo Credits: Strobridge & Co. Lith

 

Second, reactions

Needless to say, it took seconds for people to react on social medias. In a moment, the news had gone around the world. Everyone was talking about Gucci’s blackface scandal.

 

 

 

 

 

In addition, lots of celebrities have expressed their anger. For example, 50 Cent made a video where you could see him burning a Gucci t-shirt. Soulja Boy also took position by publicly announcing the removal of his Gucci face tattoo. They were all calling for a boycott.

 

 

 

Third, Gucci’s response

With everything that was going on, the company had to react really fast. They almost immediately removed the ”blackface” sweater from their website. Not long after, they published an apology on Twitter.

 

 

 

Finally, their diversity program

Regarding the blackface scandal, the company announced to step up diversity hiring as well as introducing a cultural sensitivity training for employees.

”It will hire a global director for diversity and inclusion, a newly created role that will be based in New York, plus five new designers from around the world for its Rome office.” – CTV News

It also will launch multi-cultural scholarship programs in 10 cities around the world with the goal of building a “more diverse and inclusive workplace on an ongoing basis.” – CTV News

But, even with Gucci’s answers critics still strike.

 

 

 

 

 

Gucci’s blackface scandal sure made a lot of noise, and it probably isn’t done. Let’s hope it gives a message to all the major players out there. Will you give a second chance to Gucci? Will it keep its position as the most popular brand in the world?