Following the wave of backlash they received for their balaclava turtle neck that resembled blackface, Gucci announced the launch of their three-tiered initiative.
The first component is the Gucci Changemakers initiative, which will allocate $5 million towards non-profit initiatives in communities of color the U.S., which will be selected by the Changemakers Council. Names associated with the council include Will.i.am, Cleo Wade, Dapper Dan, Micheala Angela Davis, and others.
Gucci has established a $20,000 scholarship, which will empower “more diverse talent in North America to access the [fashion] industry.” The money will be allocated to the prospective student’s education every four years. Gucci has created a mandatory company-wide volunteering initiative that gives all 18,000 worldwide Gucci employees four days off to volunteer for causes focused on equality, refugee support, climate change, and education.
Legendary Harlem couturier Dapper Dan, who has been collaborating with Gucci since 2017, released a statement in light of Gucci’s announcement. On Monday, Dapper Dan stated, “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. 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.”