Following the social media outrage over the noose hoodies released on Sunday at the London Fashion Week, the company, Burberry, had to suddenly deliver a heartfelt apology for their choice in fashion. Because of the backlash, the fashion juggernauts quickly deleted all images of the product.
The CEO of the company, Marco Gobbetti, said in a statement to The Wrap that they were deeply sorry” for all of the pain and sorrow they caused. One of the first women to call them out for their alleged misbehavior was the model, Liz Kennedy, who said that “suicide is not fashion” and isn’t “edgy” either.
Gobbetti said he called Ms. Kennedy the next day and apologized. Gobbetti and his employees eliminated all traces of the product. “It was insensitive and we made a mistake,” also stating that the noose was more in line with a previously used theme.
The Chief Creative Officer released a statement which expressed similar sentiments. Kennedy was not there for the presentation, but she claims to have heard other models and designers dismissing the hoodie and side-stepping the severity of it.
In an Instagram post below, you can see her statement in full:
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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.
According to Kennedy, the response she received from others was essentially one of dismissiveness. Individuals she worked with apparently suggested to her that no one really cares about her personal life.
In other words, the idea was for Liz to simply suck it up, so to speak. The model went on to say the issue is bigger than just her, it’s about the destigmatization of mental health.
The last time a big fashion company found themselves in hot water was with the release of an image of an African-American boy wearing a hoodie that said, “coolest monkey in the jungle.” H & M then lost their endorsement with The Weeknd as well as G-Eazy.
Putting past controversies and blunders aside, mental health has become a serious issue in Hollywood as of late, as more and more artists, entertainers, celebrities, and musicians have clamored for the destigmatization of mental health.