Gucci? Prada? or Nada?
Updated: Apr 10, 2020
Those of you thinking Gucci or Prada are the hottest luxury brands out there ahhhh... think again! A few weeks ago, Gucci released a black turtleneck sweater that covers the bottom half of your face, along with an huge cutout with red lip color around the mouth (see picture below). Instantly, this product sent anger and rage to several black individuals including celebrities such as Dapper Dan and T.I. because its design is said to resemble blackface. As a black individual, I could understand why one would think this shirt resembles blackface and why we, as people of color, should be quick to boycott it. Yet, I believe that this sweater is more sexual provocative, rather than racist because the design emphasizes and praises the lips of a women. However, I do not think Gucci released this product with the intentions of doing harm or offending any one especially since they have a vastly diverse clientele, and are thinking in terms of profit increase, not decrease. With this in mind, I believe that Gucci's team does not consist of a wide variety of multi-cultural employees, or else an item like this would never be released. Plus, who would even want to wear a pull up sweater like this?? Now, hold on just a minute before you go boycotting Gucci's products...especially if you already own products by them, I advise you to keep slaying in it or else it's ya well-earned bucks going down the drain!!
Gucci has already publicly apologized and removed this merchandise from all brick and mortar and online stores. Thankfully, we also have strong black influential designers in the industry to push brands like Gucci into doing the right thing. Dapper Dan brought community leaders together for a meeting with Gucci's CEO, Marco Bizzarri, to find solutions for this recent offense, and to prevent it from happening in the future. Gucci's plan for action includes "hiring global and regional directors for diversity and inclusion, creating a multi-cultural design scholarship program, launching a diversity and inclusivity awareness program, and implementing a global exchange program".
This action plan indicates that Gucci is remorseful of its action and eager to make a change. It is setting a precedent for other luxury brands and companies, so they do not make the same mistake. Everyone’s voice deserves to be heard and every person, regardless of their identity, deserves the opportunity to work and learn in establishments like these. Prada is also at fault for releasing an insensitive, monkey-like figurine that many believed resembled blackface. However, they have apologized, pulled the merchandise from stores, and created an inclusive advisory board led by Ava DuVernay and Theaster Gates. Diversity in a corporation is so important because it brings inclusivity into the fashion world, prevents incidents like these from rising, and maintains a strong connection between the market and the brand.
How do you feel about what has place in these luxury labels today? Comment below your opinions.
Blessings and Love,