Roommates, it isn’t easy for large brands to come back from racially charged incidents–especially a brand as big as Gucci and an incident as serious as the balaclava sweater release. We previously reported about the Gucci turtleneck that resembled blackface, and now the brand is taking action to rectify its lack of diversity.
Shortly after the incident went viral, Gucci CEO Marco Bizzarri put out a public apology and vowed the company would move forward with initiatives to create more cultural awareness.
According to Complex, Gucci has officially put out a press release outlining the official launch of the initiative. The first part is the Gucci Changemakers fund, which will put $5 million toward non-profit programs across the U.S. that uplift communities of color. Programs will be chosen by the Changemakers Council, which is made up of prominent names like Will.i.am, Dapper Dan, Michaela Davis, and more.
Gucci has also started a scholarship program that will award students $20,000, with the purpose of helping students come more diverse as they pursue fashion education. The money will be awarded over a four year time span to “empower more diverse talent in North America to access the industry.”
The third and last piece of Gucci’s plan is a mandatory company-wide volunteering tour. All 18,000 of Gucci’s employees will reportedly be given four paid days off per year to volunteer for causes focused on equality, refugee support, climate change, and education.
Dapper Dan has previously taken to Instagram as the spearhead of the initiative, and now says he is proud to be part of Gucci’s commitment to moving forward.
“Its imperative that we have opportunities to learn on a world-class level, and also have a seat at the table to say how we should be represented,” Dan said on Twitter. “Through our work together, Gucci is in a position to steer the overall industry toward becoming a better more inclusive one.”
Dapper Dan hopes that Gucci’s efforts will serve notice to other brands that diversity in fashion is a movement, and not just a way to get back into the good graces of people of color.]
Source: Complex/ Getty Images