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Chico State's independent student newspaper

The Orion

Chico State's independent student newspaper

The Orion

Chico State's independent student newspaper

The Orion

Gucci, catch me outside.

The $890 black balaclava sweater has been taken off the market by Gucci. Image courtesy of NBC News.

Not a week into Black History Month and fashion retailer Gucci is already sending out an apology.

The controversial item is a women’s black-wool sweater retailing for $890. The sweater was in collaboration with Balaclava Helmet, a headgear brand designed to only show facial features. The black turtle neck sweater covers the face with a mouth opening and red lips resembling blackface.

Blackface was a common practice in Minstrel shows, beginning in the early 19th century. It was a source of “entertainment,” in which white actors wore face paint and performed stereotyped and racist performances.

What the fu*k Gucci? Is there anyone on your panel of “fashionistas” qualified or educated enough to make the right choices? Or maybe, second guess your fashion taste.

There is no reason why in modern society, hurtful phenomena like blackface should surface through popular mediums like fashion. The feeling of offense and rage taking over the media is an unapologetic call for change as fashion retailers continually fail to recognize these recurring mistakes.

This has happened too many times before. In 2018, H&M received backlash for a children’s sweatshirt modeled by a black boy that said, “Coolest monkey in the jungle.”

While H&M and Gucci have apologized for their unacceptable fits, fashion norms remain unchanged.

With more and more companies (Prada, Katy Perry, Adidas, etc.) being called out on their racist imagery, it seems nothing is changing.

I am tired of hearing the same cliché excuse written over and over by PR companies.

We deserve authenticity and to have fashion free of racist imagery.

This makes me question, what can the future generations expect from fashion?

Janette Estrada can be reached at [email protected] or @Jane_11e on Twitter

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