Both luxury brand Gucci and shoe brand Adidas withdrew items from their website and stores for sale that were widely regarded as racist.
The New York Times reports: “The offending Gucci item was an $890 black-knit women’s balaclava that could be pulled up over the lower half of the wearer’s face. The sweater included bright red lips ringing an opening for the mouth, a detail widely denounced on social media as evoking blackface imagery.”
While: “In Adidas’s case, the company included an almost entirely white pair of shoes in a line of clothing and sneakers inspired by the Harlem Renaissance movement and meant to commemorate Black History Month. One Twitter user labeled the product ‘a swing and a miss.'”
— Scholarly Mama (@scholarlymama) February 1, 2019
Both incidents were wildly similar to the missteps Prada made with their 2018 Christmas displays.
That resulted, according to the New York Post, to the city launching a probe into Prada over a Soho store display that featured a line of accessories blasted as racist. “The NYC Commission on Human Rights is looking into reports that a Prada employee was retaliated against for complaining about the display of “Pradamalia” keychains and other trinkets — that included a character with black skin and oversized red lips, they announced in a release last week.”
In a statement, Gucci said the company “deeply apologizes” for the offense caused by the top and confirmed that the item has been removed online from all their physical stores.
“We consider diversity to be a fundamental value to be fully upheld, respected, and at the forefront of every decision we make,” the statement added.
“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.”
Gucci deeply apologizes for the offense caused by the wool balaclava jumper.— gucci (@gucci) February 7, 2019
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
This is of course comes on the heels of Virginia Democratic politicians Governor Ralph Northam and Attorney General Mark Herring both being called on to resign for having donned Black face in the past.