Luxury fashion brand Burberry has apologised for featuring an “insensitive” hoodie with a noose around the neck at London Fashion Week.
The hoodie featured in a collection called “Tempest”, unveiled on the catwalk on Sunday.
The fashion brand was criticised by one of its own models, Liz Kennedy, who did not wear the hoodie, but said in an Instagram post: “Suicide is not fashion. Let’s not forget about the horrifying history of lynching either.”
Burberry bosses have since apologised for any offence caused.
Burberry chief executive officer Marco Gobbetti said: “We are deeply sorry for the distress caused by one of the products that featured in our autumn 19 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.
“Although 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.”
Chief creative officer Riccardo Tisci said: “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 realise 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 gaffe follows fellow luxury fashion brand Gucci’s withdrawal of a “racist” black balaclava jumper and Katy Perry Collections removal of two of its shoe styles from sale after social media users complained they were racist.
Stephen Sidkin, a fashion lawyer at law firm Fox Williams, told Drapers: ”Yet again, the question has to be asked whether a brand (in this case, Burberry) was seeking attention or whether this was just another situation where eye was taken off the ball. Whilst Burberry has apologised, it would be relatively easy for difficult questions to be asked at the next AGM of Burberry’s shareholders.”