LUXURY FASHION brand Moncler came under fire this weekend after customers highlighted the latest collections disturbing motif which appeared to take inspiration from the face of a 19th-century golliwog doll.
The French sports label launched their new collaboration with fine art collaborative Samuel Borkson and Arturo Sandoval III of Friends With You.
The collection features the controversial image on a tote bag, t-shirts and a reversible jackets retailing at £1150.
According to the Jim Crow Museum, Golliwog began as a character in the 1895 book The Adventures of Two Dutch Dolls, by Florence Kate Upton. He was drawn with thick lips, wide eyes and usually had paws instead of hands and feet.
The brand responded to criticisms by insisting that the character in question is Malfi the penguin.
In an apologetic statement, the company said: “We are sorry for any offence cause by the used of the stylized face of the penguin character ‘Malfi’ on some items of clothing. Malfi the penguin in one of a cast of characters created by artists’ duo FriendsWithYou whose message is first and foremost one of global friendship.
“We are deeply troubled if the face, seen out of its context, could be associated with past or present unacceptable, racially offensive caricatures. This could not have been further from our thinking and we unreservedly apologies for any distress this may have caused.”
Moncler introduced the collection in a video June 28 ahead of the worldwide launch on July 1, they feature Friends’ characters like the smiley face Happy Virus and self-descriptive Cloudy.
The brand best known for its outerwear often sported by celebrities including Canadian rapper Drake has since pulled the “Malfi” jacket and shirt from its website.
The Friends With You mission statement includes intentions to “affect world culture by cultivating special moments of spiritual awareness and powerful, joyous interaction” and “spread the message of connectivity around the world”.