Gucci Says 'We Accept Full Accountability' After 'Blackface' Uproar, Vows to Step Up Diversity Hiring
As a part of a long-term promise to promote awareness in the company, Gucci has announced plans to step up diversity hiring.
The news comes just a week after the fashion house faced intense backlash over an $890 sweater that sparked accusations of racism for resembling blackface.
“Following the recent unintentional balaclava jumper incident, Gucci announces the first four initiatives in a long-term plan of actions designed to further embed cultural diversity and awareness in the company,” Gucci president and CEO Marco Bizzarri said in a statement shared on social media Friday.
“We accept full accountability for this incident, which has exposed shortfalls in our ongoing strategic approach to embedding diversity and inclusion in both our organization and in our activities,” the statement said, adding, “I am particularly grateful to Dapper Dan for the role he has played in bringing community leaders together to offer us their counsel at this time.”
Dapper Dan, a well-known fashion designer from New York who has collaborated with Gucci in the past, previously announced his plans to meet with the brand in hopes of getting to the bottom of the issue.
On Friday, Dan, 74, shared an update following the meeting on Instagram writing, “The meeting is over. It’s now time for Gucci to announce how they plan to make amends for what they did. We had some of the best minds from corporate world participating, and experts in inclusivity and accountability — 90% people of color.”
As for what actions will be taking place, Gucci revealed they will be creating “positions within the company whose sole responsibility will be to ensure the company reaches these standards” of hiring diverse talent.
“Gucci is now initiating a search for the newly created role of Global Director for Diversity and Inclusion, based at Gucci America in New York,” the statement said.
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The fashion house is also launching a multi-cultural design scholarship program.
“In partnership with fashion schools around the world, this 12-month fast track program will aim to amplify opportunities for underrepresented groups of talents leading to full-time employment to create a more diverse and inclusive workplace on an ongoing basis,” the brand’s statement said.
The company will also start a global exchange program “to promote a multicultural and diverse workplace by providing internal mobility for talents to come from the regions to work at the headquarter offices in Italy.”
“As a result, corporate office employees will improve their culture sensitivity and will consequently be able to integrate these insights into the company’s ways of working,” the statement said.
“My entire life has been dedicated to fight to grant myself and other[s] the possibility to be different and to freely express themselves,” Gucci Creative Director Alessandro Michele expressed. “I look forward to welcoming new perspectives to my team and together working even harder for Gucci to represent a voice for inclusivity.”