High-end fashion brand Gucci tried apologizing after recently producing a sweater compared to blackface, but folks aren’t bent on accepting their apology, including rapper T.I.
Last week, social media took notice of the brand’s $890 black wool balaclava sweater that covers the wearer’s nose and mouth.The sweater included a red cut-out for the mouth with bright red lips, evoking minstrel imagery. Moments after the garment was released online, social media deemed it “racist” and “offensive.” Gucci immediately pulled the item from online and shelves and released a statement on Feb. 7, apologizing for their faux pas.
“Gucci deeply apologizes for the offense” the Italian company stated on Twitter. “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 “Troubleman” artist, who’s been a Gucci customer for seven years, was furious over the brand’s “blackface” fashion and didn’t hide his feelings about the incident.
“Y’all GOT US fucked UP!!! APOLOGY NOT ACCEPTED,. Our culture RUNS THIS SHIT!” T.I. wrote on Instagram Friday, Feb. 8. “We (People of color) spend $1.25 TRILLION/year (but are the least respected and the least included)and if we stop buying ANYTHING they MUST correct any and ALL of our concerns. That’s THE ONLY WAY we can get some RESPECT PUT ON OUR NAME!!!! I Don’t Give a F–k if I gotta wear Target brand shit…. #F–kGucci.”
The Atlanta rapper also accused the Italian brand of purposely releasing offensive material and told them not to play the “oops my bad I didn’t mean to be racist and disrespectful towards your people sh–.”
T.I. wasn’t done there and created several more posts, blasting Gucci for their “offensive” clothes. He also posted a “call to action”, urging supporters and fans to: “stop buying Gucci for 3 months,” “do not wear it” and “share [the post] with your network.”
He added in his caption, “THIS IS THE AGENDA!!! If you go against the movement… It won’t go unnoticed. #USorELSE✊🏽✊🏾✊🏿✊🏻✊🏼✊🏽 #🖕🏽Gucci.”
Gucci wasn’t the only brand who caught the wrath of T.I. Prada was also outed for its insensitive designs in December. Prada released bag charms and had window displays that featured monkey-like features with red outlining also condemned for resembling blackface.
“Oh Prada TOO???!!!!!🤷🏽♂️🤦🏽♂️ @prada. So y’all just gon TRY US like this???? Ok…Y’all gon get this WORK as well!!! #F–kPrada🖕🏽#USorELSE✊🏻✊🏼✊🏽✊🏾✊🏿,” the hip hop artist wrote in a separate post not excluding Moncler.
T.I. later followed his tirade with a gang of Black owned clothing companies for fans to support including: Akoo Clothing, Rich Broke Clothing, Hideoki Bespoke, Amir James Clothing and Served Fresh Fashion.
T.I. isn’t the only celebrity who’s opted to boycott Gucci. Film director Spike Lee said he refuses to wear Gucci or Prada until the brands “hire some Black designers.” He wrote in an Instagram post that its “obvious” that “they don’t have a clue” about what’s considered “racist, blackface hateful imagery.”
The CEO of the Italian brand, Marco Bizzarri, has agreed to meet with fashion collaborator Daniel “Dapper Dan” Day and other community members of Harlem, New York. The designer wrote on his social media that “there is no excuse or apology that can erase this kind of insult.”