- Huw Hughes |
Burberry has apologised for featuring a hoodie with string ties resembling a noose around the neck on one of its catwalk models at this year’s London Fashion Week, and has removed the item from its collection.
"We are deeply sorry for the distress caused by one of the products that featured in our A/W 2019 runway collection Tempest," Burberry CEO Marco Gobbetti said in a statement provided to CNN. "Though the design was inspired by the marine theme that ran throughout the collection, it was insensitive and we made a mistake."
The response comes following a scolding Instagram post on Sunday night by model Liz Kennedy, who was part of the Burberry catwalk show, but didn’t wear the garment in question.
View this post on Instagram
@burberry @riccardotisci17 Suicide is not fashion. It is not glamorous nor edgy and since this show is dedicated to the youth expressing their voice, here I go. Riccardo Tisci and everyone at Burberry it is beyond me how you could let a look resembling a noose hanging from a neck out on the runway. How could anyone overlook this and think it would be okay to do this especially in a line dedicated to young girls and youth. The impressionable youth. Not to mention the rising suicide rates world wide. Let’s not forget about the horrifying history of lynching either. There are hundreds of ways to tie a rope and they chose to tie it like a noose completely ignoring the fact that it was hanging around a neck. A massive brand like Burberry who is typically considered commercial and classy should not have overlooked such an obvious resemblance. I left my fitting extremely triggered after seeing this look (even though I did not wear it myself). Feeling as though I was right back where I was when I was going through an experience with suicide in my family. Also to add in they briefly hung one from the ceiling (trying to figure out the knot) and were laughing about it in the dressing room. I had asked to speak to someone about it but the only thing I was told to do was to write a letter. I had a brief conversation with someone but all that it entailed was “it’s fashion. Nobody cares about what’s going on in your personal life so just keep it to yourself” well I’m sorry but this is an issue bigger than myself. The issue is not about me being upset, there is a bigger picture here of what fashion turns a blind eye to or does to gain publicity. A look so ignorantly put together and a situation so poorly handled. I am ashamed to have been apart of the show. #burberry. I did not post this to disrespect the designer or the brand but to simply express an issue I feel very passionate about.
“Suicide is not fashion. It is not glamorous nor edgy and since this show is dedicated to the youth expressing their voice, here I go. Riccardo Tisci and everyone at Burberry it is beyond me how you could let a look resembling a noose hanging from a neck out on the runway,” the Instagram post directed at Burberry and the brand’s creative director, Riccardo Tisici, read.
“How could anyone overlook this and think it would be okay to do this especially in a line dedicated to young girls and youth. The impressionable youth. Not to mention the rising suicide rates world wide.”
“Let’s not forget about the horrifying history of lynching either,” Kennedy added.
But Burberry isn’t the first brand to find itself at the receiving end of criticism over alleged insensitivity recently. This month, Gucci pulled a black polo neck sweater from its range due to blackface controversy, while in the same week, popstar turned footwear-entrepreneur Katy Perry removed two shoe styles from her collection for the same reason.
In November, Dolce & Gabbana issued an apology to the Chinese following backlash after the brand published what was deemed to be a culturally insensitive ad, followed by offensive social media posts by one of the designers.
If you, or someone you know is thinking about suicide, please call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-TALK (8255) or the Suicide Crisis Line at 1-800-784-2433 in North America or +44 (0) 116 123 in the UK.
Photo credit: Burberry, Facebook