Gucci has apologized and discontinued selling a sweater that social media users said resembles blackface because of its design.
In a Twitter post Wednesday, the Italian luxury brand said it "deeply apologizes for the offense caused by the wool balaclava jumper."
The top, which is no longer on the company's website, is a black turtleneck sweater that pulls up over the bottom half of the face with a cut out and oversized red lips around the mouth.
"We can confirm that the item has been immediately removed from our online store and all physical stores," Gucci said in a statement on Wednesday. "We are fully committed to increasing diversity throughout our organization and turning this incident into a powerful learning moment for the Gucci team and beyond."
The sweater had been slammed on social media, with Twitter users saying it resembled blackface and expressing emotions ranging from exasperation to outrage.
"Today Gucci released their Balaclava Knit Top. Sigh. Really Gucci? Really?" Keisha Ka'oir tweeted.
Michael Bonner tweeted his frustration at the constant depiction of racist imagery in the news recently.
"One day I am going to deliver a prolific dissertation on how it feels to live in a continuous cycle of disrespect as a black man," he said. "Gigantic brands like @gucci create offensive "fashion", quickly apologize, and then state, 'We did not know." I don't care. This is unacceptable."
One user noted that the controversy was taking place during Black History Month and expressed skepticism that it would stop people from buying the brand.