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Model Liz Kennedy Calls Out Burberry Hoodie Design for Its Suicide Imagery

Editor's Note

If you experience suicidal thoughts or have lost someone to suicide, the following post could be potentially triggering. You can contact the Crisis Text Line by texting “START” to 741741.

On Monday, model Liz Kennedy called out Burberry for a hoodie design that included a rope tied like a noose that could be interpreted as suicide imagery. The fashion brand debuted the design during London Fashion Week but has since pulled the item from its collection.

Kennedy, who walked in Burberry’s show, posted on Instagram her concerns about the Burberry hoodie design, wondering how the company could have overlooked its association with suicide, especially since the clothing line was geared toward young people. Kennedy wrote in her post:  

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. … 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. Feeling as though I was right back where I was when I was going through an experience with suicide in my family.

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@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. A look so ignorantly put together and a situation so poorly handled. I am ashamed to have been apart of the show. #burberry.

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Kennedy also pointed out the noose has a “horrifying history of lynching,” and when she asked to speak to someone about the poor fashion choice, she said she was told to write a letter. According to her post, Kennedy was also told, “It’s fashion. Nobody cares about what’s going on in your personal life so just keep it to yourself.”

The hoodie was part of Burberry’s autumn/winter line “Tempest,” which was created by designer Riccardo Tisci, Burberry’s chief creative officer.

According to CNN, Burberry has since issued an apology and removed the hoodie from its collection, saying the design was “insensitive” and a “mistake.” Tisci also issued an apology.

“I am so deeply sorry for the distress that has been caused as a result of one of the pieces in my show on Sunday,” he said. “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.”

Header image via Facebook.

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