Gucci, perhaps one of the most recognizable names in high fashion, is in desperate damage control mode after a disastrous fail during Black History Month. At issue is a pullover sweater that features a cut out for the mouth with big red lips, making the wearer appear in blackface. However, when the images hit social media, the backlash caused Gucci to pull the item from its merchandise selection and issue an apology.
Still, it was not enough for some Black celebrities who wear the fashion brand. Perhaps the most famous of them is rapper T.I., who posted to Instagram: “APOLOGY NOT ACCEPTED!!!! We ain’t going for this ‘oops my bad I didn’t mean to be racist and disrespectful towards your people.”
His call for a boycott of the brand was followed by Spike Lee, Soulja Boy and others. Gucci has responded by going to Harlem to talk to its consultant and eclectic designer, Dapper Dan, who was once sued by the fashion giant.
Dapper Dan is famous in Black fashion circles for disassembling top branded clothing and creating one of a kind fashion pieces that became statements among many Black celebrities. A series of lawsuits by fashion brands that included Louis-Vuitton, caused Dapper Dan to close his boutique for a period of time, until social media outrage triggered Gucci to rethink its position. He was later hired by the brand as a fashion consultant and now the brand has turned to his wisdom and experience. He posted to Twitter:
Despite the outrage over Gucci, there are still some Black celebrities who seem oblivious to the hurtful imagery. One such person is boxer Floyd Mayweather. The famed boxer and his entourage known as The Money Team (TMT) recently dropped, according to TMZ, $500K during a recent visit to Neiman-Marcus that included purchases from Gucci. Mayweather was fully aware of the controversy and the announced boycott of Gucci. He told TMZ:
“I’m not a follower. You know when everybody else they say, ‘Everybody gonna boycott?’ I say guess what, this boy gonna get on a yacht and live life. We all know racism still exists, but that’s not gonna stop my drive. I’ve got friends from all walks of life and to me of course, black lives matter first … but my thing is this, I’m gonna continue to go out there live life and be happy…Half of the people that’s on social media saying, ‘Don’t wear this, don’t wear that,’ I ain’t never seen none of them supporting The Money Team.”