Model Liz Kennedy haalt Burberry's suicide sweater uit de nieuwe collectie

Via Instagram bereikte ze het modehuis wél

Burberry - Runway - LFW February 2019
John Phillips/BFCGetty Images

Model Liz Kennedy zag afgelopen zondag tijdens London Fashion Week backstage bij Burberry een trui waar ze ongelofelijk van schrok. Aan een capuchontrui die bijna de catwalk op zou gaan, hing een strop.

Mode vs privé

Toen Liz Kennedy haar verontwaardiging uitte, werd haar verteld dat ze maar een brief moest schrijven aan de grote bazen bij Burberry. En ander persoon, reageerde met: "Het is mode. Het boeit niemand wat er gebeurt in je privéleven, dus houd dat voor jezelf."

Dit is geen mode
Dat deed Liz niet. Ze liet het niet bij een gewone brief schrijven, ze tikte een stuk over de ongepaste trui op haar Instagram. "Zelfmoord is geen mode," daarmee begint ze haar relaas. Ze haalt aan dat deze collectie juist voor jongeren was ontworpen. De vatbare jeugd. En dat daarbij het aantal zelfmoorden wereldwijd stijgt. "Er zijn honderden manieren om een knoop te leggen en ze kozen ervoor om het te doen in de vorm van een strop, compleet negerend dat het touw ook nog eens om een nek hangt. Burberry is een classy merk, hoe hebben ze dit over het hoofd kunnen zien." Het model vertelt dat ze aangeslagen de fitting verliet en dat ze direct terug was in het moment dat ze in haar familie te maken kreeg met zelfmoord.

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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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Maritien thema

De verbijstering bij Liz is duidelijk en terecht. Dat geeft ook Riccardo Tisci toe, die uiteraard geen strop wilde uitbeelden, maar een gewone knoop binnen een maritiem thema. Niet overtuigend, dus de trui is uit de collectie gehaald. Ook de post waarin hij de nieuwe collectie opdraagt een de jonge generatie is verdwenen.

Meer bedachtzaam

Woensdag volgde Liz haar post op met een bericht dat ze gebeld is door de CEO van Burberry. "Ik geloof dat dit een leer-moment is en dat men meer bedachtzaam zal zijn van nu af aan. Het goede wat we hieraan over houden is dat we weer zien hoeveel een stem kan bereiken. En wat voor goede dingen er kunnen gebeuren als we modemerken ter verantwoording roepen."

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I would like to address my stance on the recent Burberry collection. First, I am overwhelmed by the outpouring of support regarding the social media post I made. Riccardo Tisci’s own words about the importance of the youth having a voice were a driving force when deciding how to use mine to address this issue. I tried multiple times to handle the situation internally prior to the show and those attempts fell on deaf ears. At that point I felt that social media was the best way to address what I consider a very serious issue. My family and I were recently impacted by suicide so I know how devastating it is when someone you love decides to take their life. I’m not someone who is easily offended or triggered but I knew by the way this piece effected me, it would do the same to many others. Whether people are dealing with suicide, mental illness themselves, or someone close to them facing these issues they can’t be taken lightly. Since my post, Marco called me to address the situation. And I think the response by Burberry and their team since then is commendable. I believe this is a learning moment and they will think about these things more in-depth moving forward. The positive that has come out of this is a reminder of the power of one voice, and the good that can be done when brands are held accountable. This conversation is bigger than a look, bigger than a brand and bigger than me. It’s about raising awareness in the fashion industry that we need to be mindful of what we are producing and how the images and symbols we put impact our social norms. It was never my intention to disrespect the brand or the designer. I am grateful for the opportunities they have given me in the past and that they are listening on this issue. I also encourage you, if you feel this triggers something different within yourself, to be courageous enough to share your side of the story. We build together, we share together. It’s this AND that, not this or that.

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