Fashion brand Burberry has apologised for showcasing a hoodie that featured a noose around the neck during its show at London Fashion Week. The retailer said it has removed the item from its collection, after criticism from one of its own models led to an online backlash.
Model Liz Kennedy who wore the outfit on the runway, took to her Instagram to voice her concern. “Suicide is not fashion,” she wrote on Instagram. “It is beyond me how you could let a look resembling a noose hanging from a neck out on the runway.”
She added, “I had asked to speak to someone about it but the only thing I was told to do was to write a letter.” Kennedy also mentioned the “horrifying history of lynching” that the noose shaped evoked, a connection that was also picked up on by critics on social media.
Kennedy also claimed that staff were joking about the design before the show, while hanging the noose from a ceiling. “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,'” she said.
Marco Gobbetti, Burberry chief executive officer, said in a statement, “We are deeply sorry for the distress caused by one of the products that featured in our A/W 2019 runway collection. “Though the design was inspired by the marine theme that ran throughout the collection, it was insensitive and we made a mistake,” he added. Gobbetti said he called Kennedy to apologise after becoming aware of the product.
The item featured in Burberry’s Autumn/Winter collection, named “Tempest,” debuted in London on Sunday. The show’s designer, Burberry’s chief creative officer Riccardo Tisci said, “I am so deeply sorry for the distress that has been caused as a result of one of the pieces in my show on Sunday.”
“While the design was inspired by a nautical theme, I realize that it was insensitive. It was never my intention to upset anyone. It does not reflect my values nor Burberry’s and we have removed it from the collection. I will make sure that this does not happen again,” he added.
Source: Rob Picheta/CNN International