Published 9:32 am.m. ET February 16, 2019 |
Gucci has removed a sweater from their website that looked like blackface, but many are wondering how it even made it to the market. Keri Lumm reports.
Gucci also said it will hire a global director of diversity and integration, a newly created role that will be based in New York, plus five new designers from around the world to its Rome office.
It will also launch multicultural scholarships in 10 cities around the world with the aim of building a "more diverse and inclusive workplace on an ongoing basis."
Related: Director Spike Lee boycotts Gucci, Prada marks over blackface fashion
Gucci wool balaclava jumper has been pulled after social media has said that the sweater shows s blackface. (Photo11: Gucci)
The announcement came after Gucci CEO Marco Bizzarri met in New York City's Harlem neighborhood with Dapper Dan, a well-known African-American designer and other community members to hear their perspectives .  Dapper Dan, who cooperated with Gucci in 2017 on a men's series, has emerged as a leading voice-demanding responsibility from Gucci over the shirt, which was black with a pull-up neck with a cutout surrounded by cartoon-like red lips.
Bizzarri said that Gucci has spent the last few days conducting a "thorough review of the circumstances that led to this" and consulting with staff and African American community leaders on what actions the company should take. "
" I am especially grateful to Dapper Dan for the role he has played in bringing community leaders together to offer us their advice at this time, "Bizzarri said in a statement.
Fashion collector Daniel "Dapper Dan" Day looking for accountability after Gucci apologized for producing a sweater it was compared to blackface. (Photo11: Diane Bondareff, AP)
Earlier Friday, Dapper Dan tweeted that the participants at the meeting "made great demands" to Gucci. he would announce a town hall meeting in Harlem "for us to talk about what they have proposed."
Gucci said in May that it will begin conducting annual one-day unconscious bias training sessions for its e 18,000 employees around World War II.
The design grant program will be launched in New York, the capital of Kenya in Nairobi, New Delhi, Beijing, the Chinese city of Hangzhou, Seoul, Tokyo, Beirut, London and Dubai, the United Arab Emirates. The company described it as a 12-month fast program that led to full-time employment.
Gucci apologized for the shirt that creative director Alessandro Michele said was not inspired by blackface, but by the late Leigh Bowery, a performance artist, club promoter and fashion designer, who often used flamboyant facial makeup and costumes.
"I look forward to offering new perspectives to my team and working together even harder for Gucci to represent a vote for inclusiveness," Michele said in a statement on Friday.
Gucci's movement resembles Prada, who recently announced a diversity council after apologizing and pulling sack pains that resembled black monkeys with exaggerated red lips when critics said they portrayed racist caricatures of black people.
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