Naomi Campbell Speaks Out After Gucci ‘Blackface’ Sweater Controversy

Naomi Campbell Gucci Blackface Sweater Controversy
Naomi Campbell attends La Nuit by Sofitel Party with CR Fashion Book at Pavillon Cambon on February 28, 2019 in Paris, France.  Dominique Charriau/WireImage

Naomi Campbell is coming to Gucci’s defense after one of the designer label’s sweaters sparked controversy when people claimed it resembled blackface.

A little background: Back in February, a white model was seen wearing a $890 Gucci black turtleneck. The bottom half of the neckline covered her face except for the mouth, which is cut out with a ring of red around it that appear to be lips.

This caused a huge uproar when people pointed out that it looked like blackface makeup, calling it extremely racist. But Campbell is coming to the fashion labels defense.

“I think it’s ridiculous for people to say they were burning their [Gucci] clothes,” she told Washington Post in an article that published on May 7. “Don’t burn your clothes. It wasn’t intentional.”

The OG supermodel was brought on as part of the designer’s advisory council, along with other celebrities, racial justice activists and academics. Since the incident the brand also claims to be hiring global director for diversity and inclusion.

She continued: “And on a positive note there’s a silver lining,” she said referring to the Gucci’s scholarship investment in Africa. “In a lot of countries, football was a way of getting out,” Campbell said. “Now those interested in fashion and creativity have a way.”

“Regardless of what happened, I was always going to Gucci” to propose something new to improve, she added.

After the backlash, the company tweeted a statement apologizing for the insensitive move on February 6. “Gucci deeply apologizes for the offense caused by the wool balaclava jumper,” the Tweet read. “We consider diversity to be a fundamental value to be fully upheld, respected, and at the forefront of every decision we make.”

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