It was the latest case of an Italian fashion house having to apologize for cultural or racial insensitivity.
In a statement posted on Twitter on Wednesday, Gucci said it was committed to diversity and considered it a “fundamental value to be fully upheld, respected and at the forefront of every decision we make.”
The turtleneck black wool balaclava sweater covers the nose and includes a red cut-out for the mouth. It was ridiculed on social media as insensitive and racist, at a time when the U.S. is grappling with cases of old photos of politicians with their faces blackened.
In December, Prada said it was no longer selling a line of accessories that featured a character with brown skin and exaggerated red lips after complaints they resembled blackface.
And last year, Dolce & Gabbana canceled a Shanghai runway show and apologized after complaints that an advertising campaign featuring a Chinese model trying to eat pizza, spaghetti and a cannoli with chopsticks was culturally insensitive.