Gucci apologizes, pulls sweater resembling blackface
© Gucci

Fashion designer Gucci has apologized and stopped selling a sweater after criticism that it resembled blackface.

The company said in a statement posted to Twitter on Wednesday that it is committed to “turning this incident into a powerful learning moment” and increasing diversity.

“Gucci deeply apologizes for the offense caused by the wool balaclava jumper,” the Gucci said. “We can confirm that the item has been immediately removed from our online store and all physical stores.”

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

The “Balaclava” black turtleneck sweater was selling for $890 before the company pulled it. 

The sale image from the Gucci website that circulated on social media depicts a model with the top pulled up over the bottom half of her face, showing a cutout of red lips surrounding the model’s mouth.

The incident comes amid a number of blackface scandals emerging in state politics. Virginia Gov. Ralph Northam (D) has rejected calls to resign after a photo from his medical school yearbook page surfaced showing one man in blackface and another in a Ku Klux Klan robe. Northam now says that he does not believe he was in the photo.

And on Wednesday, Virginia Attorney General Mark Herring (D) also admitted that he had worn “brown makeup” to dress as a rapper in college.

Last month, Florida Secretary of State Michael Ertel (R) resigned after a newspaper obtained photos of him wearing blackface and dressing as a “Hurricane Katrina victim.”