Burberry apologises for 'suicide' hoodie with noose around neck
Luxury British fashion house, Burberry, are the latest to be called out for a problematic design choice.
The chief executive and chief creative officer of the brand, Marco Gobbetti and Riccarcdo Tisci, have issued apology for putting a hoodie with strings tied in the shape of a noose on its London Fashion Week runway. The furore was swift after a Burberry model complained before the show on Instagram, asserting that the noose was not only reminiscent of suicide but also lynching.
"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," Liz Kennedy wrote on the photo sharing platform.
"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 continued.
"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 (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. 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."
Gobbetti has since said that Burberry is "deeply sorry for the distress" caused by the statement, adding "it was insensitive and we made a mistake," and that Kennedy's experience "does not reflect who we are and our values".
"We will reflect on this, learn from it and put in place all necessary actions to ensure it does not happen again."
Tisci also apologised, stating that "While the design was inspired by a nautical theme, I realise that it was insensitive".
The hoodie was featured in a collection called Tempest which debuted on London Fashion Week's runway last Sunday.