Burberry apologized for the hoodie with a noose for strings which was debuted at London Fashion Week. A model called out the brand on the offensive design.
After Sunday’s show which featured the hoodie, model Liz Kennedy posted a long message on Instagram calling out the brand and creative director Riccardo Tisci. Posting a picture of the noose design on Instagram, Kennedy wrote, “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 model walked for the show but did not wear this design. Her note also said, “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 worldwide. 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.”
She also revealed that the design was extremely triggering for her, which was made worse by the lighthearted attitude backstage. She wrote, “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.”
The model also told her followers that she had asked to speak to someone about the whole issue, writing, “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.’”
Read her full post here:
After Kennedy’s Instagram expose went viral, many people addressed the disturbing theme the brand chose for their collection. The CEO Marco Gobbetti said in a statement on Tuesday that his company was “deeply sorry for the distress” the design caused, adding that he would remove it from the autumn-winter collection along with all other similar designs. Tisci added to the apology, saying that “while the design was inspired by a nautical theme, I realize that it was insensitive”.
After the apology, Kennedy took to social media again to address the situation again, writing, “Since my post, Marco called me to address the situation. And I think the response by Burberry and their team since then is commendable. I believe this is a learning moment and they will think about these things more in-depth moving forward. The positive that has come out of this is a reminder of the power of one voice, and the good that can be done when brands are held accountable.”
She added, “This conversation is bigger than a look, bigger than a brand and bigger than me. It’s about raising awareness in the fashion industry that we need to be mindful of what we are producing and how the images and symbols we put impact our social norms. It was never my intention to disrespect the brand or the designer. I am grateful for the opportunities they have given me in the past and that they are listening on this issue.”
This issue comes right after Gucci had to remove a sweater from the market last week after complaints regarding blackface. Back in December, Prada also stopped selling Christmas decorations that were thought to be racist. Katy Perry was also recently forced to pull some designs from her shoe collection because they were alleged to be racist.
The collection featuring the noose is called Tempest and is Tisci’s second for Burberry.