The item featured in Burberry's Autumn/Winter collection, named "Tempest," was debuted in London on Sunday.
British luxury fashion brand Burberry has been slammed for suicide ideation following their latest showing at London Fashion Week, which showcased a young model wearing a hoodie with an apparent noose tied around her neck.
The brand has since apologised and removed the item from its collection, after criticism from one of its own models led to an online backlash.
The design was criticised by model Liz Kennedy, who featured in the show but claimed her concerns about the use of a noose were dismissed.
View this post on Instagram
@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.
"Suicide is not fashion," the model took to Instagram to write.
"I had asked to speak to someone about it but the only thing I was told to do was to write a letter," Kennedy added.
"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,'" she said.
"How could anyone overlook this and think it would be [OK] to do this especially in a line dedicated to young girls and youth,” Kennedy wrote on Instagram. “The impressionable youth. Not to mention the rising suicide rates worldwide. Let’s not forget about the horrifying history of lynching either.”
Burberry responded that the item – which looked like a heavy twined dock rope – was inspired by a "marine theme" and nothing sinister was meant.
"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.
Burberry CCO Riccardo Tisci echoed the apology, adding that “while the design was inspired by a nautical theme,” the piece was “insensitive.”
“It was never my intention to upset anyone," Tisci continued.
“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.”
Gobbetti said he called Kennedy to apologize after becoming aware of the product.
Burberry isn't the only brand coming under fire for insensitive garments as of late. In recent months, Gucci pulled a rollneck jumper from their line following complaints that the item resembled blackface.
A few days later, the brand released a statement explaining that it had a long-term plan in place to improve diversity and cultural awareness within the brand.
And just last week, singer-turned-designer Katy Perry came under similar fire following the release of her new shoe line.