February was a difficult month for luxury brand Gucci. The legendary fashion house pulled a balaclava sweater from physical and online stores that many deemed disrespectful. The black sweater with a red print around the mouth area was deemed by many as reminiscent of blackface.
With the help of Dapper Dan and other notable celebrities, Gucci is trying to make things right. They recently announced their new Changemakers Council, which according to reports will feature a board that will work together to select inclusive elements of programming. Besides the Harlem designer and Gucci collaborator, DeRay McKesson, will.i.am, writer/activist Brittany Packnett and many more will be part of the Council.
Through this new Gucci Changemakers initiative, the fashion brand and the designer will also introduce the Changemakers Scholarship, which awards a $20,000 grant to selected students over the course of four years. They will also implement the Changemakers Fund, which “is a $5 million fund that will invest in community-based programs, particularly those helping communities of color, in cities across the U.S.”
“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 regarding the new project. “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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