[Ed. – Eye of the beholder]
Gucci pulled a black polo neck sweater from its shops Thursday after it sparked comparisons with racially offensive golliwog and “blackface” imagery.
The “balaclava jumper” can be pulled up to the eyes with the mouth visible through large red lips.
“Happy Black History Month y’all,” one African American fashionista tweeted ironically, with others pointing out the resemblance to a golliwog.
It is the third Italian brand to be hit in recent months by race rows, after Prada was forced to pull a line of accessories in December because of their resemblance to blackface imagery.
Dolce & Gabbana are reeling from a boycott in China after a calamitous advertising campaign of a Chinese woman struggling to eat spaghetti and pizza with chopsticks that was decried as racist.
The label’s co-founder Stefano Gabbana appeared to add fuel to the fire with a private Instagram exchange in which he used a smiling turd emoji to describe the country and referred to “China Ignorant Dirty Smelling Mafia”.
D&G insisted his account was hacked.
The Gucci polo neck has, however, sparked far less fury online, with some coming to the defence of its flamboyant designer Alessandro Michele, known for his playful kitschy creations.