Fashion is often about taking risks, but Burberry concedes it went too far with a hoodie that featured a noose around the neck during London Fashion Week.
In an unusual move, Liz Kennedy, the model who wore the controversial item on the runway, led the charge against it afterward, saying her backstage objections to the accessory were ignored. The retailer has since removed the item from its collection.
“We are deeply sorry for the distress caused by one of the products that featured in our A/W 2019 runway collection Tempest,” said Burberrry CEO Marco Gobbetti in a statement provided to Fortune. “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. 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.”
Kennedy, in describing her objections to the accessory, didn’t hold back in an Instagram post.
“I am so deeply sorry for the distress that has been caused as a result of one of the pieces in my show,” said Tisci in a statement. “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.”
Burberry is hardly the only company apologizing for a faux pas that many think should have been caught earlier of late. H&M last year had a black child model a sweatshirt with the words “Coolest Monkey in The Jungle“. Groupon issued an apology after a racial slur was used to describe boots. And the Gap found itself in trouble for printing shirts with an incomplete map of China last year.Follow Shannon Garcon: