BURBERRY ANNOUNCES NEW DIVERSITY INITIATIVE FOLLOWING ‘NOOSE HOODIE’ INCIDENT

News by Maddy Coffey

Following significant backlash against its ‘noose hoodie’ design presented on the runway at LFW earlier this month, Burberry has announced a range of new diversity initiatives to both educate and diversify its company and brand.  

The controversial hoodie from Burberry’s Fall 2019 collection had draw-strings tied in the form of a noose and caused major backlash following its runway performance.  

Model Liz Kennedy was first to speak out about the problematic sweatshirt. “How could anyone overlook this and think it would be okay to do this especially in a line dedicated to young girls and youth… 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.”

After issuing a formal apology and quickly removing the offensive designs from its Fall 2019 collection, ‘the luxury fashion house released a statement on Instagram, sharing its new programs to prevent similar issues in the future.

“At Burberry, we have always sought to build a culture that is diverse, open and inclusive and one where all perspectives are valued,” the CEO of Burberry Group, Marco Gobbetti, wrote. “The distress we caused with one of our products last week has shown us that we are not where we need or want to be.”  

As part of its new scheme, Burberry has launched a three-stage initiative “to increase consciousness and understanding of social issues and fully embrace diversity and inclusion: increasing understanding, diversifying the pipeline of talent, and championing those who help others.  

While such initiatives are of course positive and very much welcomed, it is disappointing that yet another luxury fashion house is finding itself back-tracking from a seeminglyignorant design choice.

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