Burberry Faces Backlash Over Riccardo Tisci’s New Designs



February 2019

Courtesy of Burberry | Photographed by Nick Knight

Just days after their London Fashion Week showcase, Burberry’s Riccardo Tisci is already receiving backlash over one particular design…

There’s no doubt that Riccardo Tisci made a brave, bold and brilliant debut at Burberry last season. And whilst many wondered if there was anyone good enough to follow in the footsteps of Christopher Bailey, Tisci proved himself with a brand new era (and vision) for the British brand.

However, during London Fashion Week, the Burberry show didn’t quite get the reaction it was expecting.

Marking Tisci’s second runway collection for Burberry, the Tempest collection came complete with 101 looks that took inspiration from British culture. As a result, the silhouettes remained quintessentially British with panelled trench coats, shearling parkas, smart tailoring and cinched dresses. Nonetheless, a hoodie design received major backlash, causing a whirlwind of negativity for the overall collection and the brand’s new designer.

One of the brand’s own models, Liz Kennedy, posted a lengthy Instagram post on the Burberry-beige hoodie. Its design uncannily resembles a noose and Kennedy explained that “it is not glamorous nor edgy since this show is dedicated to the youth expressing their voice.”

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.

A post shared by 🦎 (@liz.kennedy_) on

After receiving criticism, the fashion brand have removed the item from its collections and released an official statement.

Marco Gobbetti, Burberry’s Chief Executive Officer, said: “We are deeply sorry for the distress caused by one of the products that featured in our A/W 2019 runway collection. Though the design was inspired by the marine theme that ran throughout the collection, it was insensitive and we made a mistake. We will reflect on this, learn from it and put in place all necessary actions to ensure it does not happen again.”

Burberry has been the latest fashion brand to be criticised for releasing designs that have been considered insensitive. Earlier this year, Gucci had to withdraw its black balaclava jumper as many claimed the design was offensive.

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