AceShowbiz - Rapper T.I. and Russell Simmons are urging fans to boycott Italian fashion house Gucci following the release of an insensitive clothing item that appears to poke fun at black people.
The Italian fashion house bosses came under fire after advertising a black knitted "balaclava jumper", which covers the lower half of the face and featured a red-lipped cutout around the mouth.
Many quickly took to social media to accuse the designers, led by creative director Alessandro Michele, of creating a product which resembles "blackface" - the controversial makeover white people adopt to look like black figures, and earlier this week (ends February 10) a spokesperson issued an apology and confirmed the item would be withdrawn from sale.
However, T.I. is not accepting the apology and insists he will no longer wear Gucci clothes or accessories.
"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!!!!," he writes on Instagram alongside the company's logo. "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)."
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@gucci As a 7 figure/yr customer & long time supporter of your brand I must say...Y’all GOT US fucked 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” shit!!! Y’all knew wtf y’all was doin and WE AINT GOING FOR IT!!! We ALL GOTTA Stop buying,wearing,and supporting this piece of shit company And ALL PIECE OF SHIT COMPANIES UNTIL THEY LEARN TO RESPECT OUR DOLLARS & VALUE OUR BUSINESS!!!! Our culture RUNS THIS SHIT!!! We (People of color) spend $1.25 TRILLION/year (but are the least respected and the least included)and if we stop buying ANYTHING they MUST correct any and ALL of our concerns. That’s THE ONLY WAY we can get some RESPECT PUT ON OUR NAME!!!! I Don’t Give a Fuck if I gotta wear Target brand shit.... #FuckGucci
Simmons, who is the founder of fashion labels Phat Farm and Baby Phat, is also echoing T.I.'s calls for a boycott.
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I spent many years in the fashion industry i helped redefine it ..we created a billion dollar grossing company with phat farm and baby phat I’m proud to say that i helped some hip hop entrepreneurs and their companies follow suit like Rocawear Apple bottom and many others i found them their partners and mentored them during their launches One day Macy’s began buying all of our top brands We thought that was a breakthrough or a “good sign” (Being accepted by our oppressor who hated and looked down on us ) Then they discounted us all and intentionally killed all the black businesses that we fed ... thousands of shops ...billions of gross dollars going to the independent (mostly black) shop owners There were thousands of young black and white kids in fashion looking up to Damon John, Sean John, Kimora and all of the young black designers white kids where buying our brands causing an even greater threat , they were all studying THEIR fashion and building hundreds of companies that were distributed by the mostly independent shop owners that were in biz because of us and supporting us long before Macys bought and discounted the top 15 designers.. IT WAS INTENTIONAL DELIBERATE AND INCREDIBLY EFFECTIVE THEY KILLED THAT FASHION REVOLUTION .. i grew up and i lost a taste for clothes that were basically cheap to make but too expensive for my brothers ...but they were defining me as a SMALL man needing a “status symbol” i realized that it was embarrassing to wear them and my community members couldn’t afford to look as stupid as i did ...... When are we gonna wake up take off the horrible DEAD ANIMAL shit and the shiny crap and realize where the true shine lives Let’s instead focus on the things that serve our community and really bring us happiness Fuxk the fashion industry and the elitist backwards and hurtful mentality that it represents When you wake up and realize that it’s not what’s on u but it’s what’s in you that defines you ... you will let go of a sickness that separates you from your brothers and sisters ...and ultimately separates you from Gods Grace
"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," he writes on Instagram. "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...".