ROME (AP) — Gucci has apologized for a wool sweater after complaints that it resembled blackface makeup and said the item had been pulled from its online and physical stores.
It was the latest case of an Italian fashion house having to apologize for cultural or racial insensitivity.
In a statement posted on Twitter on Wednesday, Gucci said it was committed to diversity and considered it a “fundamental value to be fully upheld, respected and at the forefront of every decision we make.”
The turtleneck black wool balaclava sweater covers the nose and includes a red cut-out for the mouth. It was ridiculed on social media as insensitive and racist, at a time when the U.S. is grappling with cases of old photos of politicians with their faces blackened.
In December, Prada said it was no longer selling a line of accessories that featured a character with brown skin and exaggerated red lips after complaints they resembled blackface.
And last year, Dolce & Gabbana canceled a Shanghai runway show and apologized after complaints that an advertising campaign featuring a Chinese model trying to eat pizza, spaghetti and a cannoli with chopsticks was culturally insensitive.