Following an onslaught of public backlash, Burberry has become the latest luxury fashion brand to issue an apology for an item deemed insensitive. The item in question is a peach colored hoodie, which features a drawstring that undeniably resembles a noose.
CNN obtained a statement from Burberry CEO Marco Gobbetti who expressed regret.
“We are deeply sorry for the distress caused by one of the products that featured in our A/W 2019 runway collection,” Gobbetti said. “Though the design was inspired by the marine theme that ran throughout the collection, it was insensitive and we made a mistake. ”
Burberry got the noose on the Hoodie. It seems European fashion designers is tryna one up each other during Black History Month. Smh. pic.twitter.com/w2SpIJ0TIw
— IG: Mickey.Factz (@MickeyFactz) February 19, 2019
The show’s designer, Burberry’s CCO Riccardo Tisci, was adamant this wouldn’t happen again.
“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,” Tisci said. “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.”
Model Liz Kennedy, who was featured in the fashion show, claimed her concerns about the use of a noose were casually tossed aside. She addressed the controversial item in an Instagram post.
“Suicide is not fashion,” she wrote. “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.”
How does this keep happening with supposedly ‘luxury’ brands? No-one at Gucci clocked the similarity between the racist imagery of their $890 blackface jumper and Prada’s keychain – the latter of which was pulled from stores less than two months ago? Or do they just not care? pic.twitter.com/pNxTbuJeXV
— Charlie Brinkhurst-Cuff (@CharlieBCuff) February 7, 2019
At this point, many people are wondering if these giant companies are enflaming the public for publicity reasons. Gucci issued an apology earlier this month after unveiling a $890 sweater that resembled blackface.
Prada and Moncler were also under fire for several items that also bore a strong resemblance to blackface. As a result, T.I. suggested all those brands were canceled while providing alternative black-owned brands for people to support.
Naturally, people took their outrage to Twitter. Check out some of the reactions below.
Gucci: You can’t do worse than our black face sweater
Burberry: Hold my beer https://t.co/2qd7rzLmPn
— Rhiannon Walker (@InstantRHIplay) February 19, 2019
We have reached a kind of horror film level compulsion at this point — racists can’t control their racism in a climate of emboldened racism. It has become involuntary. Burberry apologizes for hoodie with noose around the neck – CNN https://t.co/p0N6rfILDg
— Rebecca Shuri She Ready Carroll (@rebel19) February 19, 2019
Burberry thinking it’s a good idea to make a hoodie with a NOOSE AROUND IT?! I mean Jesus. Howwww did they THINK this was gonna go down?!?
— Chris D’Elia (@chrisdelia) February 19, 2019
Hey, fashion people. I’m just an unstylish comedian who doesn’t know anything, but maybe lay off the black face and nooses for a while? This is starting to feel like some weird bet about who can go out of business the fastest https://t.co/42nVvzM3C4
— Whitney Cummings (@WhitneyCummings) February 19, 2019