After several recent incidents of high-profile fashion brands selling products with racially insensitive designs, yet another brand has been accused of crossing a major line. Burberry came under fire after a model walked the runway wearing what looked like a noose at London Fashion Week. CNN reports that the item was part of the brand’s fall/winter line and was designed by Chief Creative Officer Riccardo Tisci. The line was apparently supposed to be nautical-themed and was inspired by Shakespeare’s The Tempest. However, upon seeing the accessory, model Liz Kennedy, who was walking in the February 17th show, took to Instagram to condemn it.
Kennedy pointed out how deeply inappropriate presenting this object as an accessory is, citing the “rising suicide rates worldwide” and the “horrifying history of lynching.”
She added that she had tried to voice her concerns about the inappropriate item but was brushed off. At one point, she recalled someone telling her, “It’s fashion. Nobody cares about what’s going on in your personal life so just keep it to yourself.”
In a statement provided to HuffPost, Burberry CEO Marco Gobbetti apologized for the design.
Tisci also apologized in the statement, writing, “While the design was inspired by a nautical theme, I realize that it was insensitive. It was never my intention to upset anyone.” He added that he had removed the offending item from the collection.
We applaud Kennedy for taking a stand—we know it likely wasn’t easy. If you are having suicidal thoughts, call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-8255.