Burberry apologises over jumper with 'noose' on neck after London Fashion Week anger

The brand said: 'It was insensitive and we made a mistake'

Chelsea Ritschel
Tuesday 19 February 2019 18:55 GMT
The brand has removed the item from its collection (Getty)
The brand has removed the item from its collection (Getty)

Burberry has apologised for featuring a jumper with a “noose” around the neck as part of its Autumn/Winter 2019 collection at London Fashion Week.

The British brand also said it would be removing the jumper after Liz Kennedy, a model who walked in the show, expressed her concerns with the item.

Kennedy pointed out the issues with the item on Instagram, where she posted a photo of the hoodie and wrote a lengthy caption explaining why “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,” Kennedy 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.”

In addition to suicidal imagery, the model said the noose, which was featured on the runway during Sunday’s show, also highlights the “horrifying history of lynching.”

According to Kennedy, who said she left her fitting “extremely triggered after seeing this look,” she attempted to raise her concerns at the show – but was told “it’s fashion” and to “write a letter.”

After sharing the post, Burberry and chief creative officer Riccardo Tisci removed images of the hoodie from Instagram.

In a statement to The Independent, Burberry CEO Marco Gobbetti said: “We are deeply sorry for the distress caused by one of the products that featured in our A/W 2019 runway collection Tempest.

“I called Ms Kennedy to apologise as soon as I became aware of this on Monday and we immediately removed the product and all images that featured it.

“Though the design was inspired by the marine theme that ran throughout the collection, it was insensitive and we made a mistake. The experience Ms Kennedy describes 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 expressed his regret over the incident, acknowledging that the item was “insensitive.”

“It was never my intention to upset anyone,” Tisci said. “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.”

According to Mental Health Foundation associate director of research Dr Antonis Kousoulis, the incident highlights the need for brands to consider the impact of certain images.

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“There are thousands of people who have been impacted by suicide. At the very least, brands should be thoughtful that images can be triggering,” Dr Kousoulis told Huffington Post.

The brand is the latest to find itself embroiled in controversy over harmful imagery after Gucci was accused of selling a jumper that resembled blackface, which has since been removed.

If you have been affected by this story, you can call the Samaritans on 116 123 or visit www.samaritans.org. You can also call the National Suicide Prevention line at 1-800-273-8255.

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