Gucci withdraws jumper after 'blackface' backlash
Luxury fashion brand Gucci has withdrawn a woollen jumper from sale after the item was criticised for "resembling blackface."
The black "balaclava jumper" covered the lower half of the face and featured a red cut-out around the mouth.
The item prompted a backlash on social media by users who claimed the design was offensive.
In a statement, Gucci apologised for any offence caused and said it would be removed from sale.
The brand said it would turn the incident "into a powerful learning moment for the Gucci team" and was committed to increasing diversity.
Blackface has a history of perpetuating offensive and racist stereotypes of African Americans dating back more than 200 years in the United States.
On social media, many criticised the design for invoking such stereotypes.
Gucci's troubles mark the latest in a string of missteps by luxury fashion brands.
Last month, Prada withdrew items over concerns it had depicted blackface imagery. The label pulled products from a line of goods called Pradamalia which appeared to resemble black monkeys with large red lips.
Dolce & Gabbana cancelled its Shanghai fashion show amid accusations of racism.
The brand posted videos of a Chinese model eating Italian foods like pizza and pasta with chopsticks.
Widely seen as offensive, the campaign led to a severe backlash in China with several retailers pulling the brand's products.
D&G also caused controversy in 2016 when it called an item of footwear in its spring/summer collection a "slave sandal".