Gucci has appointed Renée E Tirado as global head of diversity, equity and inclusion after the brand was criticised for selling a balaclava-style jumper that some felt referenced “blackface” earlier this year.
Tirado most recently served as chief diversity and inclusion officer at Major League Baseball in the US. Before this, she held diversity and inclusion roles at finance company American International Group and the United States Tennis Association.
In her role at Gucci, Tirado will develop and implement a global strategy to increase workforce diversity and oversee the Cultural Awareness Learning Program for all global employees. She will report directly to president and CEO Marco Bizzarri.
Tirado will also become a member of the Gucci Changemakers Council. The initiative was set up in March after Gucci was criticised on social media for selling an $890 (£690) balaclava-style jumper, which featured a cut-out mouth outlined by cartoonish red lips, which some felt referenced “blackface”. Gucci issued an apology and withdrew the item from its stores and website.
The council includes community leaders and social change experts working to advance diversity and inclusivity.
“This appointment is a fundamental building block to further our commitment and support the initiatives already in place,” said Bizzarri. ”As a learning organisation, we have challenged ourselves over the last few months to accelerate our vision to develop a strong organisation. I am confident that Renée will help us create the meaningful change we want to see not only in our company but in the fashion industry.”
Gucci is the latest in a string of luxury houses to incorporate more formalised diversity and inclusion roles. Earlier this month, Chanel appointed Fiona Pargeter to the newly-created role of global head of diversity and inclusion. At the beginning of the year Prada announced the creation of a consulting committee on diversity and inclusion.