The fashion designer, who collaborated with Gucci in 2017, addressed the controversy in a statement published to Instagram on Monday.
The luxury brand came under fire last week after images of its balaclava knit top surfaced online. The $890 black sweater features an opening with bright red lips — ridiculed for its resemblance to racist and anti-black caricatures — that can be stretched over the mouth.
Gucci released a statement last Wednesday that it has removed the item from its website and stores. “Gucci deeply apologizes for the offense caused by the wool balaclava jumper,” the brand’s apology read.
In Day’s Instagram statement, he indicated that Gucci’s CEO Marco Bizzarri agreed to travel to New York to meet with him and “members of the community and other industry leaders.”
“There cannot be inclusivity without accountability,” Day added. “I will hold everyone accountable.”
Alessandro Michele, Gucci’s creative director, told The New York Times in 2017 it was an homage to Day, who ran a famous clothing studio in Harlem in the 1980s and early 1990s known for its legendary knockups.
Last year Day teamed with the brand to open an atelier in Central Harlem that Gucci described as an “homage to the couturier’s original boutique.”