Vianney Le Caer, Invision
This Feb. 17, 2019, photo shows a model wearing a creation by Burberry at the Autumn/Winter 2019 fashion week runway show in London. The chief executive and chief creative officer of luxury powerhouse Burberry have apologized for putting a hoodie with strings tied in the shape of a noose on their London Fashion Week runway. Marco Gobbetti, the brand’s CEO, said in a statement that Burberry is “deeply sorry for the distress” the shirt has caused and has removed it from the collection. Riccardo Tisci, Burberry’s creative director, also apologized. He said “while the design was inspired by a nautical theme, I realize that it was insensitive.”

SALT LAKE CITY — Luxury fashion giant Burberry is issuing apologies this week after featuring a hoodie with a noose-like knot for drawstrings on the runway at the London Fashion Show.

The hoodie, which was reportedly part of a “nautical themed” line called Tempest, received backlash on social media for appearing to glamorize suicide and lynching, NBC News reported.

Burberry chief creative officer Riccardo Tisci released his own statement about the show: “It was never my intention to upset anyone. ... I will make sure that this does not happen again.”

Burberry CEO Marco Gobbetti released a statement this week about the controversy, too, according to NPR:

  • "We are deeply sorry for the distress caused by one of the products ... featured in our A/W 2019 runway collection Tempest … Though the design was inspired by the marine theme that ran throughout the collection, it was insensitive and we made a mistake."

In an unusual move, Burberry model Liz Kennedy was one of the first to speak out against the company on social media, according to NPR.

  • “Suicide is not fashion. It is not glamorous nor edgy,” Kennedy wrote on Instagram. “How could anyone overlook this and think it would be OK to do this especially in a line dedicated to young girls and youth.”
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@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. 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.

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Kennedy cited the “horrifying history” of lynching in the United States as another reason why Burberry’s choice lacked proper judgment.

Kennedy said that participants in the dressing room hung the knot from the ceiling at one point and were laughing about it.

When she asked to speak to someone about it and resolve the issue internally, Kennedy said she was told “write a letter” and “It’s fashion. Nobody cares about what’s going on in your personal life so just keep it to yourself.”

Kennedy said in a follow-up post that her family was recently impacted by suicide, and the use of the knot really affected her.

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  • “I know how devastating it is when someone you love decides to take their life,” Kennedy wrote. “Whether people are dealing with suicide, mental illness themselves, or someone close to them facing these issues they can’t be taken lightly.
  • “This conversation is bigger than a look, bigger than a brand and bigger than me,” Kennedy added. “It’s about raising awareness in the fashion industry that we need to be mindful of what we are producing and how the images and symbols we put impact our social norms.”

Kennedy has since received an apology from Gobbetti and resolution for the situation, she wrote.

The hoodie has since been removed from Burberry’s new line, according to NBC.