One of the items in the range is a jumper emblazoned with the word "colonialism".
The company's representative explained that the collection was not created to glorify the historical period associated with slavery and genocide but rather to encourage people to reflect on it.
"Big Uncle designers are not racists, fascists, Nazis or colonialists, they believe in freedom of thought and in the superiority of thought over any form of violence, abuse, imposition and oppression," the spokesperson said, as cited by the Independent.
But the excuse doesn't sound convincing for Twitter users who took to the social network to hail criticism on the Milan-based clothing firm.
"At best insensitive, at worst, standard racism. The usual ‘we didn't mean it" excuse", tweeted Daniel Roy Connelly.
— Hafsah Aneela Bashir (@Hafsah_A_Bashir) 6 марта 2018 г.
A petition demanding to withdraw the entire line of clothing has been launched by writer Mireille Harper, gathering hundreds of signatures from across the world.
Just been sent this petition to draw attention to an Italian fashion label doing some weird high fashion concept garms that say 'Colonialism' on them, which is pretty ugh. https://t.co/3qBZpfjsXo— Nikesh Shukla (@nikeshshukla) 26 февраля 2018 г.
"Whether Big Uncle's views are misguided or downright racist, I cannot argue, however they appear to have a complete lack of understanding for people of colour who continue to live with the intergenerational trauma that lingers today in all pockets of society, particularly in their own country of origin, Italy, where racism, prejudice and discriminatory behaviour continues", Harper said.
"Big Uncle’s celebration of colonialism through fashion is particularly staggering once one realises the extent of the horrors of Italy’s own colonial regime." https://t.co/4cLlh8SoHG— Enrico Cioni (@enricioni) 9 марта 2018 г.
Colonialism is defined as a country or government taking a land by political or military force, then exploiting its resources, manpower and wealth.