Another fashion brand has pulled an item over concerns about what it was depicting, though this time it wasn’t due to “blackface.”
High-end brand Burberry came under fire after showcasing a hoodie with a noose at London Fashion Week. The company has since apologized and told CNN it was being removed from its collection.
“We are deeply sorry for the distress caused by one of the products that featured in our A/W 2019 runway collection,” Burberry chief executive officer Marco Gobbetti told CNN.
“Though the design was inspired by the marine theme that ran throughout the collection, it was insensitive and we made a mistake,” he added.
You can view an image of the hoodie here and decide for yourself whether it invokes a “marine theme.” Maybe they were referring to bears fishing for salmon?
The outrage started when model Liz Kennedy posted an image of the hoodie on Instagram and wrote, “Suicide is not fashion.”
“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,” she wrote.
She called out Burberry for choosing this particular way to tie a rope, tying it like a noose, which “triggered” her because she had previously gone through “an experience with suicide in my family.”
Kennedy also claimed someone at the fashion show “briefly hung one from the ceiling (trying to figure out the knot) and were laughing about it in the dressing room.”
Tisci, Burberry’s chief creative officer and the designer of the show featured in London, apologized.
“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,” he said, according to CNN.
“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.
If the outrage didn’t come over suicide, it would have come over racism, judging by Kennedy’s comments on lynching.
This is the latest designer to accidentally create a clothing item that was seen as offensive. Last week Katy Perry had to pull two pairs of shoes from her collection after they were seen to promote “blackface.” The week before that, Gucci pulled a sweater that could be pulled over someone’s face and was reminiscent of blackface. A few weeks before all that, Prada pulled a bunch of products from its shelves that seemed to depict blackface.
What’s left out of the commentary on all these instances is that the items pulled are downright ugly with or without the hint of racism.