Burberry is apologizing for featuring a hoodie with a noose around the neck during the Sunday show for the fashion brand’s autumn/winter 2019 collection at London Fashion Week.
“We are deeply sorry for the distress caused by one of the products that featured in our A/W 2019 runway collection Tempest,” Burberry chief executive officer Marco Gobbetti said in a statement provided to CNN and Highsnobiety.
“Though the design was inspired by the marine theme that ran throughout the collection, it was insensitive and we made a mistake,” he said in the statement.
Model Liz Kennedy, who was featured in the show, took to Instagram Sunday to express her frustration with the brand for featuring the hoodie, adding that she was “ashamed to have been apart of the show.”
“Suicide is not fashion,” she wrote in the Instagram post. “It is not glamorous nor edgy and since this show is dedicated to the youth expressing their voice, here I go.”
Kennedy then directly addressed Riccardo Tisci, the chief creative officer of the brand.
“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,” she wrote. “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.”
Kennedy also discussed the “the rising suicide rates world wide” and “the horrifying history of lynching.”
“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 continued. “A massive brand like Burberry who is typically considered commercial and classy should not have overlooked such an obvious resemblance.”
Kennedy said she “left my fitting extremely triggered after seeing this look. Feeling as though I was right back where I was when I was going through an experience with suicide in my family.”
Kennedy added that she “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,” she said. “I did not post this to disrespect the designer or the brand but to simply express an issue I feel very passionate about.”
USA Today has reached out to Burberry for comment.
This is the latest instance of a luxury fashion brand receiving backlash for designs that crossed the line. Both Gucci and Prada have come under fire for featuring pieces that some deemed as racist.
Prada pulled an animal charm and related products from its line after criticism that the trinket used imagery reminiscent of blackface. The brand has since started a diversity council with film director Ava DuVernay.
Gucci said it would step up diversity hiring as part of a long-term plan to build cultural awareness at the luxury fashion company following an uproar and a celebrity boycott over a sweater that resembled blackface.
Anika Reed, USA Today; Contributing: Associated Press
Read more at usatoday.com
Suicide Lifeline: If you or someone you know may be struggling with suicidal thoughts, you can call the U.S. National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 800-273-TALK (8255) any time of day or night or chat online. Crisis Text Line provides free, 24/7, confidential support via text message to people in crisis when they dial 741741.