Burberry apologises for ‘noose’ hoodie after model speaks out

Burberry has apologised for a hoodie that had a ‘noose’ tied around the neck, after it featured on the brand’s London Fashion Week catwalk on Sunday.

In a statement, Burberry chief executive Marco Gobbetti said the company was “deeply sorry for the distress” the garment had caused, and that it had been removed from the autumn/winter collection along with all images depicting it.

Riccardo Tisci, Burberry’s creative director, also apologised, saying: “While the design was inspired by a nautical theme, I realise that it was insensitive.”

(Vianney Le Caer/Invision/AP)

The apology comes after Liz Kennedy, a model who also walked in the show (but didn’t wear the item), spoke out in criticism of the hoodie in a lengthy post on Instagram.

“Suicide is not fashion. It is not glamorous nor edgy,” she 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[?] Let’s not forget about the horrifying history of lynching either.”

Kennedy explained that she saw the hoodie at her fitting and asked to speak to someone at Burberry about it, but was told to “write a letter.”

“I left my fitting extremely triggered after seeing this look (even though I did not wear it myself),” she continued. “Feeling as though I was right back where I was when I was going through an experience with suicide in my family.”

View this post on Instagram

@burberry @riccardotisci17 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. 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. A look so ignorantly put together and a situation so poorly handled. I am ashamed to have been apart of the show. #burberry.

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The post has attracted more than 1,300 comments, the majority praising Kennedy for taking a stand.

Instagram user Thalia Perry commented beneath the post: “Well done for calling this out. This garment is beyond insensitive.”

Burberry’s is the latest in a string of apologies from both luxury and affordable fashion brands following accusations of racism and insensitivity.

Earlier this month Gucci withdrew a ‘balaclava’ jumper from sale after accusations of blackface, and last week Katy Perry removed a pair of shoes from her fashion range for the same reason.

- Press Association

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