Burberry’s London Fashion Week show on Sunday featured trench coats, puffer jackets, and in at least one look, the flag of the U.K. worn as a cape. It also had a beige hoodie that looked completely normal, except for the fact that there appeared to have been a noose around the neck.
It’s appalling how the fashion industry continues to make shockingly bad decisions, particularly when it comes to be not being horrifically offensive and/or racist, and this hoodie is a great example of something that makes you go: How? Why? Do any adults work here?
Liz Kennedy—a model who walked in the Burberry show but didn’t wear the hoodie—says she spoke up about it because her family has been impacted by suicide, but was told to write a letter instead and that no one would care about her personal experience with suicide. In her Instagram post, she also succinctly outlined the many ways noose could be offensive:
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.
Kennedy says that, in the dressing room, people were joking about the noose and hanging it from the ceiling, albeit to figure out how to tie the knot. All of that suggests that at some point, some light bulbs went off in Burberry’s camp—but no one thought to stop the item from being displayed.
The CEO of Burberry, Marco Gobbetti, said in a statement to CNN that the hoodie was a mistake:
“We are deeply sorry for the distress caused by one of the products that featured in our A/W 2019 runway collection,” Marco Gobbetti, Burberry chief executive officer, said in a statement provided to CNN.
“Though the design was inspired by the marine theme that ran throughout the collection, it was insensitive and we made a mistake,” he added.
Riccardo Tisci, the chief creative office of the brand and the designer behind the LFW show, reiterated that the hoodie was a play on the theme, and apologized (per CNN):
“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.”
“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,” he added.
It’s not that hard, people! Open your eyes. Think for a second. Maybe hire some smarter people to work for you. Just some free advice.