Naomi Campbell has defended Gucci over its controversial blackface sweater.
The Italian fashion house sparked outrage last year when it released an turtleneck that covered half the face and featured large red lips on a cut-out around the mouth.
Many people called out the brand for evoking racist blackface iconography, and Gucci bosses quickly issued an apology and removed it from their website.
However, Naomi has criticized those who turned their backs on the label, branding the people who burnt their Gucci clothes “ridiculous”.
“I think it’s ridiculous for people to say they were burning their (Gucci) clothes. Don’t burn your clothes. It wasn’t intentional,” the 48-year-old told The Washington Post.
After the outrage, Gucci rolled out a diversity and inclusion plan, which involved the launch of Gucci Changemakers, a community fund and scholarship program in the U.S., starting a scholarship investment in Africa and forming an advisory council which included the British supermodel.
“And on a positive note there’s a silver lining,” Naomi said of the scholarship scheme. “In a lot of countries, football was a way of getting out. Now those interested in fashion and creativity have a way.”
“Regardless of what happened, I was always going to Gucci.”
At the time, the fashion house, headed by creative director Alessandro Michele, issued a humble apology on social media as outrage over the blackface sweater grew.
“Gucci deeply apologizes for the offence caused by the wool balaclava jumper… We consider diversity to be a fundamental value to be fully upheld, respected, and at the forefront of every decision we make,” the statement read on Twitter.
– Cover Media1