Burberry has apologized for a hoodie that was debuted Sunday at London Fashion Week featuring a noose hanging around the model's neck, and they have removed the product and all images of the outfit.
"We are deeply sorry for the distress caused by one of the products that featured in our A/W 2019 runway collection Tempest," Burberry CEO Marco Gobbetti said in a statement obtained by TheWrap.
Model Liz Kennedy was one of the first to call out Burberry and designer Riccardo Tisci for the hoodie in a lengthy Instagram post, saying that "suicide is not fashion" nor "not glamorous nor edgy." She further criticized Tisci because he had dedicated the autumn and winter line to the youth expressing their voice.
"I called Ms. Kennedy to apologize as soon as I became aware of this on Monday and we immediately removed the product and all images that featured it,"Gobbetti continued. "Though 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."
Tisci, Burberry's Chief Creative Officer and the designer of the line, also apologized in a statement.
"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."
Tisci's line, titled "Tempest," debuted on Sunday at London Fashion Week and was modeled by Gigi Hadid, Irina Shayk and others. Kennedy was not featured in the Burberry presentation, but she said she overheard other models and designers backstage dismissing the design and downplaying what she said are her own past struggles with suicide in her family.
"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,'" Kennedy continued. "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."
See Kennedy's full statement on Instagram below, along with an image of the hoodie.
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. 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.