We Gucci? The High-End Fashion Brand Creates Community Fund & Scholarship Program After Racist Clothing Debacle

March 19, 2019  |  

Gucci - Arrivals - Milan Fashion Week Spring/Summer 2018

Source: Stefania M. D’Alessandro / Getty

Back in February, the internet dragged fashion brand Gucci for their racially triggering turtlenecks that mimicked black face.

The company immediately went into damage control mode, issuing this apology at the time:

“[Gucci] deeply apologizes for the offense caused by the wool balaclava jumper,” continuing, “We are fully committed to increasing diversity throughout our organization and turning this incident into a powerful learning moment for the Gucci team and beyond.”

After some much needed conversations with the brand’s iconic fashion ambassador, Dapper Dan, the clothing line has decided to launch both a community fund and scholarship program to put their money where their mouth is.

Gucci CEO Marco Bizzarri announced the company’s new initiatives in a statement, explaining:

“Through our Changemakers program, we will invest important resources to unify and strengthen our communities across North America, with a focus on programs that will impact youth and the African-American community.”

A $5 million fund will be invested in non-profits that work on behalf of people of color and their communities across North America, Fashionista reports. 

The beneficiaries of this fund will be selected by “community leaders and social change experts to ensure transparency, accountability and long-term impact,” the statement reads.

Dapper Dan is on the council along with Black Lives Matter founder DeRay McKesson and image activist Michaela Angela Davis. There will also be a scholarship fund of $20,000 that will be awarded to students pursuing fashion careers. The aim of the program is to “empower more diverse talent in North America to access the industry.”

Last, Gucci employees will be allotted four extra vacation days dedicated to volunteer work.

“As a partner, I am proud to work with Gucci and other community leaders to help guide programs that will create meaningful impact for the Black community and fashion as a whole,” Dapper Dan said in a statement.

“It is imperative that we have a seat at the table to say how we should be represented and reimagined. Through our work together, Gucci is in a position to lead the overall industry toward becoming a better, more inclusive one.”

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