Gucci made headlines this week after their wool balaclava sweater faced social media backlash because of its resemblance to blackface. Following the backlash, Gucci issued an apology and pulled the sweater from their inventory online and in-stores.
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
"We can confirm that the item has been immediately removed from our online store and all physical stores," Gucci said in a statement. "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."
Following Gucci's statement, Spike Lee stated that he would no longer wear Gucci or Prada — who came under fire back in December for selling figurines that resembled blackface — until they hire Black people to work in their fashion houses.
"I, Spike Lee Of Sound Mind And Body Will No Longer Wear Prada Or Gucci Until They Hire Some Black Designers To Be In Da Room When It Happens," the Academy Award-nominated filmmaker wrote on Instagram. "It's Obvious To Da Peoples That They Don't Have A Clue When It Comes To Racist, Blackface Hateful Imagery. WAKE UP. Ya-Dig?"
Encouraging his fans to follow in Lee's footsteps, T.I. posted his distaste for Gucci's usage of blackface in a series of Instagram posts and also vowed to stop wearing the brand.
"Our culture RUNS THIS SH^T!!!" he wrote on Instagram. "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 sh^t...."
Following his post about a three-part plan to boycott Gucci, T.I. expounded on his reason for the boycott on Instagram Live. "The only reason Gucci is hot is because we made that sh^t hot," he said. "If we stop wearin' that sh^t today, that sh^t tank! Period [...] They wanna wear their shoes like us. They wanna wear their hats like us, you know what I'm saying? They wanna dress like us. We. Run. This. Sh^t. Period. So if they don't respect us, our culture, our heritage, then why in the f^^k we spendin' money on them?"
With Soulja Boy's Gucci headband going viral along with the rest of his "The Breakfast Club" interview, he also joined the boycott, switching out his popular Gucci headband for a Fendi one. "I'm shocked and I'm appalled and I feel disrespected," he said on Instagram. "I supported y'all brand. I spent hundreds of thousands of dollars and y'all came up with a shirt with blackface on it."
"Who's responsible for this?," he said in another post. "Because it's not funny! At all!"