Gucci hires diversity chief following blackface scandal
Gucci hires diversity chief amid claims ‘offensive and irresponsible’ turban and ‘blackface’ designs came from a ‘lack of ethnic minority staff’
- Renée Tirado was previously the chief diversity and inclusion officer at MLB
- Appointment is part of steps luxury fashion house is taking after it was slammed
- It was previously branded ‘offensive and irresponsible’ over designs alike to ‘blackface’
Gucci have hired a diversity chief following criticism over culturally insensitive and racially charged designs.
Renée Tirado, who was previously the chief diversity and inclusion officer at Major League Baseball, will start in the post as part of a series of steps the luxury fashion house is taking following the release of a ‘blackface’ jumper, and turban that was slammed by the the Sikh community.
In February, Gucci was forced to remove a £730 black balaclava knit top from the Autumn Winter 2018 season that featured a cut-out at the mouth outlined in red.
Renée Tirado, who was previously the chief diversity and inclusion officer at Major League Baseball, will start in the post as part of a series of steps the luxury fashion house is taking following the release of a ‘blackface’ jumper, and turban that was slammed by the the Sikh community
Critics said that the polo jumper, which was released during US Black History Month, resembled blackface.
Celebrity fans, including rapper 50 Cent slammed the brand. The Candy Shop hitmaker posted a video on Instagram of himself burning a Gucci T-shirt, captioning the video ‘I gotta get rid of all the Gucci I have at home. I’m not supporting their brand anymore’.
Gucci later apologised and removed the item.
The Milan-based company later that month announced it would hire global and regional directors for diversity and inclusion, amid claims that the poor judgement was in part due to a lack of ethnic minorities working at the company.
The fashion house also launched a multicultural design scholarship programme, a diversity and inclusion awareness programme and a global exchange programme.
The piece, a black balaclava knit top from the Fall Winter 2018 season, soldf for $890 and features a cut-out at the mouth that is outlined in red.
Archive searches indicate that the clothing item was last on the brand’s site in January
Gucci took to Twitter to apologise for the jumper and added that diversity was fundamental for the brand
But just weeks later the company was branded ‘offensive and irresponsible’ for sending white models down the runway in turbans at New York Fashion Week.
Many pointed out that the headgear, which is also known as a Dastaar and is important part of the Sikh religion, should not to be used as a fashion statement.
One turban in particular, a £650 royal blue piece from the brand’s Autumn 2018 collection caught the wrath of Twitter users.
While Gucci never commented on the controversy, Nordstrom has weighed in, tweeting an apology and announcing that it would no longer sell the turban.
The Sikh Coalition and others called out both Gucci and Nordstrom for offering the item
Controversial: Gucci is facing backlash from Sikhs on social media for selling this turban for $790 (£650)
A model walks the runway at the Gucci show during Milan Fashion Week Fall/Winter 2018/19
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