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Burberry is sorry its "nautical" hoodie drawstring looks like a noose

by Rex Santus
Feb 19 2019, 9:39pm

Another fashion house is facing backlash over a design detail. This time it’s Burberry, which showcased a hoodie that had a noose-like drawstring at London Fashion Week.

The luxury British brand’s own model, Liz Kennedy, criticized the design on Instagram and pointed out that it evoked imagery of lynchings to make a fashion statement. She also thought the design was making light of suicide.

“Suicide is not fashion,” she wrote in her now-viral post, saying her concerns over the design were dismissed.

"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.

Burberry responded to the controversy by apologizing and saying it was supposed to be a design in line with the show’s nautical theme.

"We are deeply sorry for the distress caused by one of the products that was featured in our A/W 2019 runway collection," Marco Gobbetti, Burberry CEO, said in a statement to CNN. "Though the design was inspired by the marine theme that ran throughout the collection, it was insensitive and we made a mistake.”

The Burberry scandal is the latest instance of inadvertently racist clothing to draw public backlash in the past few weeks. Earlier this month, Gucci pulled an $890 sweater from shelves after consumers pointed out that the black “balaclava knit” with big red lips to pull up over the face seemed to draw on blackface imagery for its inspiration.

Adidas cancelled its plans for an all-white shoe to celebrate Black History Month. Back in December, Prada pulled figurines from its stores in New York that had characteristics resembling blackface tropes.

Cover: This Feb. 17, 2019 photo shows a model wearing a creation by Burberry at the Autumn/Winter 2019 fashion week runway show in London. (Photo by Vianney Le Caer/Invision/AP)