Burberry forced to apologize for controversial 'suicide' noose hoodie
Burberry has been forced to apologise after being slammed for featuring a hoodie with a noose around the neck at London Fashion Week.
The upmarket brand came under fire on Monday after one of its own models called them out for glamourising suicide through fashion.
Liz Kennedy, who was part of the show on Sunday but did not model the hoodie, took to social media to write that she was personally affected by the "ignorant" piece of clothing, due to her family history.
The model claimed that people involved in the show laughed when they hung the noose up from the ceiling, and when she attempted to bring up her concerns, she was told: "it's fashion".
Speaking out on Instagram, she said: "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."
Claiming that the experience made her feel "right back where I was when I was going through an experience with suicide in my family," she added: "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."
Concluding that the look was "so ignorantly put together and the situation so poorly handled," Kennedy said she was ashamed to have been a part of the show, adding that she didn't set out to disrespect the designer or the brand but had to express her opinion.
After her post got attention on social media, Marco Gobbetti, the chief executive and chief creative officer of the luxury fashion brand, released a statement apologising, stating the top had been removed from the autumn-winter 'Tempest' collection.
"We are deeply sorry for the distress caused by one of the products that featured in our A/W 2019 runway collection," he wrote. "Though the design was inspired by the marine theme that ran throughout the collection, it was insensitive and we made a mistake."
The show's designer, Burberry's chief creative officer Riccardo Tisci, added: "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."
The incident comes after Gucci removed a black balaclava sweater from their stores and singer Katy Perry withdrew shoes from her new fashion line after both pieces were criticised for resembling blackface.