Givenchy and his creative director Matthew M Williams were arrested after an “obviously offensive” necklace, which looked like a noose, appeared in their collection.
The women’s and men’s spring / summer show, which debuted in Paris yesterday, featured an accessory that looked like a broken noose. Many netizens noted its similarity to Burberry’s’ noose hoodie ‘, which was featured in their fall / winter 2019 collection. At the time, Marco Gobbetti, Burberry’s chief executive, apologized, saying that’ he was “deeply sorry for the distress”. Creative director Riccardo Tisci, who was Williams’ predecessor at Givenchy, said he was “unresponsive”.
Fashion industry watchdog Diet Prada, who pointed out the similarities between the ‘noose’ collar and the Burberry hoodie, wrote on Instagram: “You would think the industry has learned not to not putting things that look like ropes around a mannequin’s neck… really makes you wonder how no one noticed, but alas… history repeats itself.
Angela McRobbie, professor of media, communication and cultural studies at Goldsmiths, University of London, also expressed frustration with the imagery. “I don’t know what to say here, given the tired and weary ‘desire to shock’ or the utter unconsciousness,” she told The Guardian. “For me, the relevant but unanswered questions are: who are the decision-makers behind the scenes? Who signs obviously offensive articles like this? When there is a reaction, do they get fired? She asked, “Is there a cynical agenda to shock and then quickly remove the offensive article for the media attention it receives?”
Following the Burberry controversy, model Liz Kennedy, who modeled the hoodie in the 2019 runway show, wrote a lengthy Instagram caption. “Suicide is not fashionable,” she wrote. “… How could anyone ignore this and think it would be acceptable to do it, especially in a line dedicated to girls and young people… Not to mention the rising suicide rates around the world. Let us not forget the horrible story of the lynching, either.
Lisa Roxby, of the Papyrus Suicide Prevention Charity, told The Guardian: “Those who have a personal connection to suicide, whether it is their own experiences or the loss of a loved one , can be triggered by such images and brands have a responsibility to ensure that they do not harm their audiences.
Givenchy told The Guardian: “The house has no official response on this matter. “