In the article, it discusses the recent scandal pertaining to the designer brand Gucci. Gucci released a sweater known as the balaclava that caused a major uproar. In the article it states, “The top, which is no longer on the company’s website, is a black turtleneck sweater that pulls up over the bottom half of the face with a cut out and oversized red lips around the mouth”. This sweater caused such an uproar due to the fact that it resembled blackface. Gucci pulled the sweater from store locations and website because of all of the negative press and also issued an apology statement. In the apology, Gucci, is regretful for how the sweater offended people. The apology also mentioned how they strive to include diversity within their company.
This article relates directly to chapter 16 and how it discusses crisis management. In the e-text this is defined as, “A coordinated effort to handle all the effects of unfavorable publicity or another unexpected unfavorable event”. Gucci would like to learn and grow from this negative press. In summary, Gucci new sweater had caused unfavorable publicity. To manage this unwanted publicity, Gucci issued an apology statement and plans on finding more ways to increase diversity within the company.
My thought on the article is that it was disheartening. It’s sad that in today’s diverse world, there are still brands that do not take this into consideration. Brands have to be cautious now more than ever with the rise of social media and how fast news spreads. I first heard of the scandal on social media with a lot of outraged people. I feel as if Gucci did not receive such a negative response they would have continued to sell the sweater. The only positive from the negative press, is that it has caused Gucci to re-evaluate their diversity. They realized what they are currently doing is not working and they need to evolve with the times and make this company diverse and welcoming for all.
I also saw on social media that Gucci met with a prominent black designer and discussed diversity and plans to make it happen withing the company. In addition, Gucci plans on creating a scholarship, hiring people specifically for diversity inclusion roles, learning programs for diversity, and a design program that is open to everyone around the world come to the Gucci headquarters to design. In conclusion, I think it is sad that yet again another clothing brand is racially insensitive nonetheless they have a set up four initiatives to turn this negative situation around.
- Holcombe, M. (2019, February 08). Gucci apologizes after social media users say sweater resembles blackface. Retrieved February 20, 2019, from https://www.cnn.com/2019/02/07/us/gucci-blackface-sweater/index.html