World

Burberry Debuts 'Suicide' Hoodie With Noose Around Neck and Quickly Apologizes: 'Suicide Is Not Fashion'

Burberry apologized for featuring an “insensitive” hooded top with a noose hanging around the neck during one of its shows at London Fashion Week.

The fashion brand was criticized by one of the show’s own models for the design after it appeared on the runway in a collection called Tempest on February 17.

Liz Kennedy, who did not wear the top herself, asked Burberry in a lengthy statement on Instagram how anyone could have seen the hoodie and thought "it would be okay to do this especially in a line dedicated to young girls and youth.”

“Suicide is not fashion. It is not glamorous nor edgy,” she added. “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…feeling as though I was right back where I was when I was going through an experience with suicide in my family.”

Kennedy went on to explain that she brought up her concerns about the design after seeing it in the dressing room before the show but was told to just 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.”

Marco Gobbetti, Burberry's chief executive officer, said the company was “deeply sorry for the distress” caused by the outfit.

"Though the design was inspired by the marine theme that ran throughout the collection, it was insensitive and we made a mistake," Gobbetti said in a statement to CNN.

Burberry's chief creative officer Riccardo Tisci added: "While the design was inspired by a nautical theme, I realize 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." 

Dr. Antonis Kousoulis, of the U.K.-based Mental Health Foundation, said brands such as Burberry should be more aware of how their products will be perceived.

“It’s not a media company but it’s heavily featured in the media so the same guidelines would apply,” he told the Huffington Post U.K. “There are thousands of people who have been impacted by suicide. At the very least, brands should be thoughtful that images can be triggering.”

Earlier this month, Gucci apologized and removed a “balaclava top” after it was criticized for resembling blackface.

The black wool sweater pulled up over the lower part of the face had a thick red outline around the lips.

If you have thoughts of suicide, confidential help is available for free at the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline. Call 1-800-273-8255. The line is available 24 hours, every day.)

Burberry noose Burberry has apologized for featuring a hoodie with a noose around the neck at a show during London Fashion Week. Estrop/Getty Images

Join the Discussion

Editor's Pick
ocasio-cortez impeachment trump

Ocasio-Cortez Supports Impeachment, Notes the Odds

Although Representative Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez said she supported impeaching President Donald Trump, she said that removing him "would not remove the infrastructure of an entire party that embraced him; the dark money that funded him; the online radicalization that drummed his army."