Fashion company Burberry has apologized for featuring a hoodie with a noose around the neck during a runway show at London Fashion Week, CNN reports.
Burberry removed the item after harsh criticism from one of their own models led to backlash online. Chief executive officer Marco Gobbetti expressed that they were “deeply sorry for the distress caused by one of our products” in a statement to CNN.
Model Liz Kennedy originally condemned the item on Instagram. She walked in the show and claimed that her warnings about using the noose were ignored.
“Suicide is not fashion. It is beyond me how you could let a look resembling a noose hanging from a neck out on the runway,” she wrote in her post.
Kennedy also cited the horrific history that the noose shape elicited. Other critics have referred to this correlation in their harsh criticism of the item.
The model also claimed the staff cracked jokes about the design and hung the noose from the ceiling. She asked to speak to someone about the issue but was told 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,'” she said. Gobbetti said that after being made aware of the product, he called Kennedy to apologize.
The UK’s Mental Health Foundation also spoke out about the concept and said that the incident proved that fashion houses need to examine their creative processes.
Antonis Kousoulis, associate director of research at the charity, expressed his disappointment at the representation of mental health on display in the show. He added that he was glad that the fashion company apologized and pulled the item but called for more diversity in the creative process.
Kousolis also noted that Burberry’s global influence grants them the privilege of giving a voice to diverse views.
The item was featured in Burberry’s Autumn/Winter collection Tempest, which debuted in London on Sunday.
Show designer and Burberry’s chief creative officer Riccardo Tisci also released a statement saying he was deeply sorry for the distress caused by one of his pieces in the show.
“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.
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@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. 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.