Burberry apologized for their extremely dumb ‘noose necklace’ stunt

I don’t understand why so many fashion houses are making so many terrible decisions all at the same time. Was there some sort of Fashion Council meeting where they all decided to provoke stupid controversies to get attention? Is this the plot of Zoolander 3? Well, the latest is from Burberry. Burberry had their big London Fashion Week show this week, and one item stood out in the sea of dull browns: a gold “noose” necklace. Gross. Everybody’s apologizing:

Burberry has issued an apology after one of their models walked the runway wearing a sweatshirt with strings tied in the shape of a noose around the neck. The designer brand received a lot of backlash following their decision to showcase the controversial design during their Autumn/Winter 2019 fashion week show in London earlier this week. In the apology issued to CNN, Burberry’s Chief Executive Officer Marco Gobbetti said the company regretted the design and would be removing the item from their collection.

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

In addition, Burberry’s Chief Creative Officer Riccardo Tisci, who also served as the designer of the show, issued an apology on behalf of the fashion brand.

“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, according to CNN. “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.”

[From People]

To give you some idea of how idiotic these people are, model Liz Kennedy – who walked in the Burberry show but did not wear the noose necklace – posted this on Instagram, where she talks about how she saw the problem immediately during the Burberry fittings and tried to speak out but was shut down (she tags both Burberry and Tisci 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.

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.

[From Liz Kennedy’s IG]

I’m glad she’s calling them out so publicly and correctly identifying it for the kind of dumb stunt-queenery it is. I think that’s what most of the recent racist fashion scandals have been too: of course there were people who spoke up and said “wait a second, this isn’t right,” but all of those people were told to STFU because the labels wanted the attention and controversy.

Embed from Getty Images

Photos courtesy of Instagram, Getty.

You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed.

54 Responses to “Burberry apologized for their extremely dumb ‘noose necklace’ stunt”

Comments are Closed

We close comments on older posts to fight comment spam.

  1. Case says:

    This is horrifying. Liz has my respect.

    • Ravensduaghter says:

      Ah, but fashion is designed to be provocative, isn’t it? But, there is a line and Burberry crossed it, entirely on purpose I’m sure!

      • Good GRrrrrl says:

        I have a designer belt buckle that is a large metal razor blade. Serious question, is this offensive? I think it means “edge”. Thoughts?

  2. Loopy says:

    Yeah at this point they all do this on purpose and later offer a lame apology.smh

    • me says:

      I agree it’s definitely done on purpose. They get publicity and the backlash ends up going away very quickly. None of these big fashion houses have ever been “brought down” by controversy and they probably never will.

  3. Clare says:

    You know, I don’t think that this is happening more often – but that this shit is being called out more frequently (and rightfully so).

  4. Megan says:

    Is everyone who works in fashion white? Is there not a single diverse voice in the room that can shut down racist shit before it happens? I am so sick and tired of this. What the hell is wrong with people?

    • Original T.C. says:

      From the posting from this model, it appears that White people probably have pointed this out to the companies. Most likely no one in the past was brave enough to call them out on it in public. Career suicide and all that Jazz. Most White people *know* these things are offensive. Blackface topics come out in the news *every year* during Halloween.

    • Zip says:

      White people point out racist sh*t, too. Thank you very much.

      • Christina says:

        They sure do, Zip. But so many more white people don’t care about the pain this causes to people of color. And after Kate Spade, it’s shocking that they didn’t care about the suicide angle. So many people who have attained power and money model this behavior, and people who used to be trained to have empathy are now trained to get ahead at all costs. Not enough people will boycott Burbury to make a difference. I don’t make enough money to boycott them, so they don’t care what someone like you or I think. They know that Kate Moss will still wear their crap.

    • Dumb Dumb Burberry says:

      It’s not just a race thing. My brother suicided by hanging himself. I cannot see this.

    • Milla says:

      No, but they all want the same thing: publicity. And btw McQueen killed himself almost on the same date as the show but no one cares.

  5. Kitten says:

    It was intentional. Absolutely NO WAY you couldn’t see how problematic this is. Liz Kennedy was great for calling it out. I hope that doesn’t get her blacklisted or anything..the fashion industry can be very unforgiving.

    • HK9 says:

      If this was intentional they need to sit down and reevaluate everything they do. I’ve had enough with using cheap stunts in place of work that’s truly avant guard. You can’t play with suicide and lynching and think people are going to want that. On top of that-the fashion itself is uninspiring to say the least. This is fu-king ridiculous.

    • GreenTurtle says:

      Yes, and while people may try to argue away the racist angle by saying that it’s a British brand, Burberry made the lynching correlation fairly obvious by tying this to other symbols associated with black culture. First, they used the noose as strings on a hoodie. Second, they styled the white model with baby hair curls. Come ON. Nautical theme? Sure, Jan. 🙄

      • Mac says:

        Burberry has been a global brand for more than half a century. Just because the are HQ-ed in the UK is not an excuse for being culturally ignorant of one of their biggest markets.

      • Christina says:

        Word, Green turtle. They are trash. Tisci is trash.

  6. Original T.C. says:

    Yep, controversy sells. Both Gucci and Burberry knew exactly what Black face and a noose around a neck means to society. I bet many people along the way also warned Gucci about the Blackface. They are using painful historical images during Black History month to mock Black Americans while laughing all the way to the bank. Simply despicable.

    I have bought Gucci products and Burberry perfumes in the past. Both companies are now officially dead to me.

  7. Valiantly Varnished says:

    These brands are doing this crap on purpose. It’s 2019. OF COURSE they know better. It’s basically Pavlov’s dog and they get free publicity from everyone talking about them. And then they issue a tacit apology and everyone moves on. So I say we don’t given them what they want. Stop talking about them. Dont cover it. Then maybe they will finally get the message and stop doing dumb s*it like this.

  8. Rapunzel says:

    Tisci practically ruined Givenchy under his tenure. He’s a no talent hack, and Kanye’s boo, which says all you need to know.

    • SK says:

      Agreed. Everything I have ever designed by him has been HIDEOUS. Christopher Bailey was such a good match with Burberry. Tisci is tacky and messy – the opposite of their aesthetic. I do not know what they were thinking when they hired him. Of course he would need to resort to some tacky stunt to get attention. His clothes are crap.

  9. Maum says:

    Great post from Liz.

  10. mltpsych says:

    Isn’t this Kanye’s rumored boyfriend? He learned stunting from the best.

    • adastraperaspera says:

      I think you’re on to something here. Publicity at any cost. Shameless and disgusting. Boycott everything they do, FOREVER.

  11. OriginalLala says:

    good on that model for speaking out – and shame on Tisci and Burberry for this

  12. Anastasia says:

    CANCELLED. And to think I was just shopping around their site recently. Overpriced crap, anyway.

  13. Nev says:

    I’m disappointed in Tisci. I thought he was really happening and so kool. Ugh.

  14. Rose says:

    I guess people want to be offended by everything now .

    • Anon33 says:

      If you’re not offended by this then there’s something wrong with you. Truly.

    • Nev says:

      Black people have been strung up in trees by nooses in the not so distant past.
      Since you don’t get it yet.

    • Christina says:

      Rose, if you don’t see what this is, you are part of the problem. This type of thing allows rascist treatment of people like me and my family to fester. My kid has been told to “go back to” her country. My mother has been denied service at gas stations. This “inoffensive” stuff has real world consequences. You sound like someone who would have bought the stupid lips turtle neck. I find your flip comment insensitive and disgusting.

    • Giddy says:

      No, Rose, what people want is for garbage like this to quit happening, and for companies to show sensitivity and a knowledge of history. I would say that a very large percentage of readers and commenters here are offended by Burberry, then by you.

    • Clare says:

      Rose – if you don’t find this troubling, then the problem is you, and not those who find this shit ‘offensive’.

      I’ll just add that as a human being, I hope you are never confronted with the image of a loved one, or someone who looks like you, with a noose around their neck. I can promise you, it is not pleasant. I can also promise you that were you to be confronted with something on that vein, you would not write it off as merely offensive. It is the kind of thing that breaks your heart and haunts you for life.

  15. chocolate princess says:


    Let’s start with the cultural appropriations from the Kardashians to Jean-Paul (I don’t see colour cop out) Gaultier. Then the Pepsi ad “NUFF SAID”, (p.s coca cola is better). Also, the wearing of the headdress in a lingerie show ( I think is Victoria’s Secret) who doesn’t know the purpose of it or don’t care when it comes to Indigenous people. Then to make matters worse, Gucci and Prada want to make a mockery of the African Diaspora by making a black turtle neck sweater with protruding red lips. Now this insensitive mess. I have just had enough with these people who want to make a fashion statement that is cruel and insensitive to the consumers who buy them, and what hurts the most they will make more money. This is why I am done watching E channel, Fashion Channel, Access Hollywood, Extra and many more of these frivolous, ridiculous stories about the rich and famous.

  16. A.Key says:

    Frankly I associate that type of noose with hangings and executions primarily, but either way, creepy and disturbing.
    But they got their publicity so I guess it worked.

  17. KNMC says:

    There wasn’t one person – ONE – who said, “Hold up, this is a really bad idea?” Unbelievable.

  18. Rapunzel says:

    Was going to buy a Gucci bag and Burberry coat in the near future. Will now be spending that money on a trip to Portugal. Thanks, fashion dumba**es.

  19. Lala11_7 says:

    This is my first time seeing this…and ALL I have to say is…

    “WUT IN THE HEYLL?!?!?!”


  20. Anna says:

    Hope they won’t get back at her by not booking her anymore or bad-mouthing her.

  21. Sandra says:

    Not that I know anything about boating, but I don’t think I’ve ever seen a nautical knot that looks like that. Is a noose even nautical? There are tons of other nautical knots they could have chosen, so it appears to me that they are outright lying, not that I believe them anyway. What a bunch of jerks. And unfortunately Liz will probably never get hired again. She wrote a really good letter.

    • supersoft says:

      Liz will get hired in the future, just not by Burberrys anymore.

    • SamC says:

      I sail and not a knot I’ve ever seen/used.

    • Erinn says:

      I mean… you can loosely argue that it is. BUT let’s not even pretend that they didn’t do this on purpose knowing that the MAIN use for this kind of knot is for hanging.

      “A variation of this knot is used in fishing and is called the Uni-knot. It is used to tie fishing line to terminal tackle, join two pieces of line, or for snelling hooks. It is especially useful when used with slick braided line as more coils can be added to increase the friction of the knot and will not let the knot pull out. It is also useful in that the knot can be pulled down tight to the lure or it can be left with a larger loop that gives the lure more freedom of movement. The hangman’s noose can also be used in boating to secure an eyelet on a rope or sheet without splicing it.”

      • K-Peace says:

        Erinn, What is your point in pointing out that it technically could be a nautical knot?? Who cares that “technically it COULD be” one?–when what matters is that it WASN’T meant to be a nautical knot. This was done specifically to look like a noose & to be shocking. So why are you allowing them any leeway at all for a defense of what they did??

        Anyone who has any sensitivity should be disgusted & offended. What they did is indefensible! I felt triggered just looking at that photo. It actually sent a shockwave through me; seeing that noose around the person’s neck mentally brought me right back to a very bad time in my life that involved suicide. I’m actually angered by this stunt!

  22. supersoft says:

    Well. If you are not able to create real fashion you gotta keep milking that cash cow via insensitive and repulsive cr*py wanna-be fashion events.
    Its just so ridiculous.

  23. Mina says:

    I’m not a fashion expert, but one thing I remember from watching many episodes of America’s Next Top Model was Tyra always talking about how fashion was supposed to be provocative and polarizing. So I think many people in fashion still have that mindset, yet they haven’t been able to adjust it properly to the current times, that’s why they keep doing dumb things. Also, fashion designers are very unaware of what goes on in the real world, so they should invest in having more PR people taking part of their decisions.

  24. Lynnie says:

    They do this on purpose because they know they can get away with this because the general society at large doesn’t really care about black people/people sympathetic to these issues don’t make up enough of their market to create an effective boycott.

    I say this, because when these fashion houses actually face tangible consequences they’re falling all over themselves to right their wrongs. Case in point the whole Dolce & Gabbana fashion show spectacle in China where they actually got kicked out for disrespecting their culture. D&G saw lost $$$ and apologized multiple times which I had never seen before.

  25. My3cents says:

    Well we’re talking and commenting about it, so I guess they got what they wanted, f–k people’s feelings.

  26. BlueSky says:

    “Dear diary, it’s day 20 of Black History Month. It’s not going well at all.”


  27. Nah says:

    They were supposed to be dressing a major UK singer for the Brits tonight but had to pull out after this idiotic fashion ‘moment’. Why would anyone think this is okay?

  28. JRenee says:

    Clearly not valuing Black consumers. It’s old now, every other week and it hasn’t stopped…Gucci, Prada, Burberry seriously in 2019?

  29. Jag says:

    One can hope that people will start boycotting these horrible fashion designers and houses who do these kinds of things like the gamers are boycotting the awful companies trying to microtransaction everything while putting out mediocre product.

    Vote with your wallet.