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T.I calls for boycott of Gucci following blackface criticism


RAPPER T.I has called for a boycott of Gucci following the release of a clothing item that has sparked outrage.

The Italian fashion house faced immense criticism after an image went viral of a white model wearing a black knitted "balaclava jumper", which covers the lower half of the face and featured a red-lipped cutout around the mouth.

Many have taken to social media to call out the brand, commenting on its resemblance to blackface - the racist depiction of black people used by non-black performers.

The brand issued an apology and confirmed that the product will be withdrawn from sale. However, many are not accepting the apology, with T.I among other calling for a boycott.

Taking to Instagram, the rapper wrote: "As a 7 figure/yr customer & long time supporter of your brand I must say...Y'all GOT US f**ked UP!!! APOLOGY NOT ACCEPTED!!!! We ain't going for this "oops my bad I didn't mean to be racist and disrespectful towards your people" s**t (sic)...!!!

"We ALL GOTTA Stop buying, wearing, and supporting this piece of s**t company And ALL PIECE OF S**T COMPANIES UNTIL THEY LEARN TO RESPECT OUR DOLLARS & VALUE OUR BUSINESS...!!!! I Don't Give a F**k if I gotta wear (budget-friendly) Target brand s**t (sic).

Russell Simmons echoed T.I’s thoughts, writing: "When are we gonna wake up take off the horrible DEAD ANIMAL s**t and the shiny c**p and realize where the true shine lives. Let's instead focus on the things that serve our community and really bring us happiness. F**k the fashion industry and the elitist backwards and hurtful mentality that it represents..."

Since sharing his thoughts on Gucci, the Atlanta-based rapper has promoted a series of black-owned fashion brands and designers on his social media, including Amir James, Akoo Clothing and Hideoki.

Gucci are not the first luxury fashion brand to use blackface-inspired imagery in their products. Prada faced criticism last year after featuring golliwog-looking figurines in their New York shop window.

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