You have to wonder what world some people live in.
Consider Gucci. The $12.4 billion luxury clothing brand and tentpole of opulent consumer capitalism has under its employ an army of top-end professionals who work to ensure that its products stay consistent with the burnished image that it has created for itself. Elite designers and product testers who do everything they can to maintain the picture of wealth and prestige built upon the backs of exploited sweatshop labour hidden out of sight. Yet even these slick professionals mess up royally sometimes.
Because, how? Just, how? How in the holy hell does this pass through all those tightly controlled filters to end up on a shelf in 2019:
The recently released Gucci ‘balaclava jumper’ has naturally faced an entirely reasonable backlash, and Gucci have subsequently pulled the product and issued an apology.
GUCCI IS CANCELLED ALL 2019 🙅🏾♂️ pic.twitter.com/YtGKdKZwqX— 4amtravo (@TravieJx21) February 7, 2019
If you hire more Black people and cultivate an environment where people on all levels of the company feel comfortable to speak up incidents like this will be avoided.— The GLOWBOSS (@VanessaVeasley) February 7, 2019
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
Blackface is a dehumanising racist practice the scars of which have not even begun to fade. Yet some people are so insulated from the world that the thought that a product of theirs might resemble something so egregious apparently does not even enter their head until after external criticism is made. There are actual sitting politicians who are admitting to wearing blackface as a joke in the 1980s. This is not something out of ancient history. With the monstrous, industrial, systemic global structures of centuries of racism in some cases barely disassembled, at some point the lines between ignorance and active malice begin to fade.
This is not the first incident of a top-end fashion brand getting into hot water over a shocking design choice either. It was only a month or so ago that Prada was forced to confront its own brand of ignorance when it released their modern day blackface accessories.
So y'all bold bold. This is fucking nonsense. I am livid.https://t.co/IVZny77jLC— The First Joelle Monique ✍🏾 (@JoelleMonique) December 14, 2018
Company uses cheap, inhuman-condition labour to market an overpriced, ugly, racist jumper, the problematic nature of which they don’t even see until it’s out on shelves. Boycott them for every damn step of that process. And then overthrow this white supremacist capitalism that spawned it.
Header Image Source: BBC