The luxury brand, Gucci announced on Friday that they are planning to invest more into hiring diverse staff members as a part of their strategy to develop more cultural awareness. This comes from the backlash the company received earlier this regarding a Gucci sweater that resembled blackface reports USA Today.
The $890 clothing piece has since been pulled from stores and online.
In addition to diversifying staff, Gucci said they created a new position that will aid in their efforts. The Italian brand will hire a global director for diversity and inclusion that will be based in New York. Five new designers from across the globe will also be added to the team in their Rome office.
This information was announced soon after Marco Bizzari, Gucci CEO, met with community members and Dapper Dan, a popular Black designer, in Harlem.
Dapper Dan took the role to lead in holding Gucci accountable for their actions. He collaborated with the high-priced brand back in 2017 for a menswear line.
The CEO said for days he has conducted a thorough review of the circumstances that led to this” he is also meeting with members in the African-American community about further actions the company as a whole should make.
In a statement, Bizzari said, “I am particularly grateful to Dapper Dan for the role he has played in bringing community leaders together to offer us their counsel at this time.”
On Friday Dapper Dan made a post on Twitter saying that attendees during the meeting made “great demands.” He plans to have a town hall meeting to talk about the engagement with Gucci.
Gucci is launching a multicultural design scholarship program that in ten cities including, in New York, Nairobi, New Delhi, Beijing, Hangzhou, Seoul, Tokyo, Beirut, London and Dubai, United Arab Emirates. The scholarship will lead scholarship recipients to full-time employment.
The brand’s creative director, Alessandro Michele said Gucci intentionally designed the sweater to give an ode to Leigh Bowery, a fashion designer who used “flamboyant face and makeup and costumes.
Michele, in a statement, said, “I look forward to welcoming new perspectives to my team and together working even harder for Gucci to represent a voice for inclusivity.”
Gucci will be having unconscious-bias training for its 18,00 employees in May.