During 2019’s London Fashion Week, fashion retailer Burberry debuted a highly controversial outfit.
The ensemble featured a noose hanging from the neck of the model who wore it.
No, we are not kidding.
See it here:
Burberry has apologized for showing a hoodie with a noose around the neck during London Fashion Week. The company was called out by one of its own models: https://t.co/DUItchcIBK pic.twitter.com/cEWzuFGbbL— CNN International (@cnni) February 19, 2019
Burberry apologized for their choice almost immediately, saying the hoodie was attempting to reference a “nautical theme.”
“While the design was inspired by a nautical theme, I realize that it was insensitive,” Burberry’s chief creative officer Riccardo Tisci said in his apology, adding that it was “never my intention to upset anyone.” https://t.co/PgEZDpWjFN— Carly Ledbetter (@ledbettercarly) February 19, 2019
Many Twitter users refused to believe a noose hanging from someone’s neck was truly an honest oversight.
I am a big fan of Burberry, but this is unbelievable. How do people not THINK. Huge props to Liz Kennedy, a model in the same show (so an even braver decision) for calling this out. It is not ok. https://t.co/DuKTpKxSQU pic.twitter.com/u6GqjQXBct— Hannah Jane Parkinson (@ladyhaja) February 19, 2019
One of the outfits most vocal critics was a model who worked the catwalk: Liz Kennedy.
"How could anyone overlook this & think it would be okay to do this especially in a line dedicated to young girls & youth... Not to mention the rising suicide rates worldwide. Let’s not forget about the horrifying history of lynching either." —Liz Kennedy: https://t.co/kWNGMrybJ6— Ξvan Ross Katz (@evanrosskatz) February 19, 2019
When Liz Kennedy, the model wearing the noose hoodie, tried to address her concerns before Burberry show, she was told to “write a letter” and “it’s fashion. Nobody cares about what’s going on in your personal life so just keep it to yourself.” https://t.co/8EVF0pehpZ— Saeed Jones (@theferocity) February 19, 2019
It seems Burberry was alerted to people’s negative feelings many times leading up to the show.
Under those circumstances, many Twitter users thought the company’s apology was somewhat lacking.
Burberry saying they're "deeply sorry for the distress caused [by thinking it was fashionable to hang a noose thru a hoodie, around a model's neck]" AFTER multiple people involved raised concerns IN THE MOMENT but the piece was still put out on the runway, is what we've come to.— Elisa Doucette (@elisadoucette) February 19, 2019
Real talk: @Burberry is a tired, uninventive brand you should have dropped a LONG time ago. This ain't 2003. And they think lynching tools are cute accessories.— Ja'han Jones (@_Jahan) February 19, 2019
You literally have every reason to put them out of business. https://t.co/Z8kpyv1Kwn
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
With suicide rates rising worldwide, the image of a noose hanging from a young person’s neck is a chilling image to say the least.
Gucci: You can't do worse than our black face sweater— Rhiannon Walker (@InstantRHIplay) February 19, 2019
Burberry: Hold my beer https://t.co/2qd7rzLmPn
Yes, I’ve seen the hoodie that showed at Burberry with the noose around the neck. No, I won’t be discussing it. I’m not helping to push a viral moment for that brand by expressing outrage.— Shelby Ivey Christie (@bronze_bombSHEL) February 19, 2019
At this point, they are trolling us. pic.twitter.com/SGqAlqknRa
Some believe there are even more sinister reasons for Burberry’s misstep.
Black rage is clearly a marketing strategy. I believe Burberry was very intentional. At some point, we have to respond by withholding support and not saying a word about it online. Also, see my previous tweet about high-end Black designers to support. You have options if you want https://t.co/6wU99dikvP— Shanita Hubbard (@msshanitarenee) February 19, 2019
Twitter users were outraged to the point of boycott.
They only apologized because they were called out. And only 1 model spoke up. The Fashion Industry still has a lot of work to do.— Leona Humphries (@Gingersling) February 19, 2019
Let's be real...@Burberry thought about it.... As well as doing an apology for it afterwards too. No way in hell that went unnoticed. No way!! Same for Gucci— C★ZAR (@DarkRoomCypher) February 19, 2019
They knew exactly what they were doing. I'm just saying!!! ????????????????♀️— Rho Jo (@xenasg1) February 20, 2019
Hopefully Burberry learns their lesson from this incident, but the chances seem low after they failed to realize the offensiveness of this idea prior to its execution.