Burberry Agrees 'Suicide isn't fashion', Apologizes For Parading Lynching Noose Down Runway

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Add another “what were they thinking!!!” designer must-have to your Fall 2019 luxury shopping list. Insisting that the design was inspired by a marine theme that ran throughout the entire collection, Burberry agrees that their noose is easily understood as making both suicide and lynching fashionable. Given everything that’s happening around Gucci and Prada’s wild-side walk with blackface, it’s pretty incredible that these mishaps keep happening.

"We are deeply sorry for the distress caused by one of the products that featured in our A/W 2019 runway collection," Marco Gobbetti, Burberry chief executive officer, said in a statement provided to CNN.

The design was criticized by model Liz Kennedy, who wore it on the runway and claims that her expressed concerns about the noose were dismissed. Even wearing it during the show potentially put Kennedy in her own tough spot with social media. It was Kennedy who posted this message to Burberry on her Instagram:

@burberry@riccardotisci17Suicide 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.

Antonis Kousoulis, associate director of research at The UK's Mental Health Foundation, was also critical of the noose design concept, saying the incident demonstrated the need for fashion houses to examine their creative processes.

"It is disappointing to see this representation in our day and age considering how much ground we have covered in mental health in recent years," Kousoulis said.

"I was glad to hear that the fashion house apologized and pulled the item, but, more generally, I would like to see more diversity in the creative process," Kousoulis added. "Highly influential global brands like Burberry certainly have a role to play in giving a voice to diverse views, respecting people with lived experience, and being role models."

The call for more diversity in the creative process is echoed by new developments at both Prada and Gucci to insure that such overtly historically racist references be at least addressed within the design team. These teams should be multicultural under the best of circumstances. But as a design head myself, it’s impossible for me to understand how white people live such culturally isolated, uninformed lives about race that they can’t see what is a blaring, racist bugle horn blaring before my eyes. These incidents would never have happened on my watch at Victoria’s Secret. ~ Anne

As Royal Patron, Meghan Markle Takes Interest In ACU Project To Decolonise the Curriculum Across 500 Universities

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In January 2019, Meghan Markle made her first visit to the Association of Commonwealth Universities, an organization representing over 500 universities spanning more than 50 Commonwealth countries. Queen Elizabeth II handed over her royal patronage to the Duchess of Sussex, as part of her royal porfolio of four patronages.

The Duchess has been preparing for the important patronage and met with the ACU leaders privately in December. Markles described the event as meeting "university leaders, academics & #students to discuss how we can build a better world through #highered."

The Duchess of Sussex reportedly supports a campaign to “decolonise the curriculum” and confront the legacy of British empire and racism on university campuses.

The movement to add more people of color and female thinkers and writers to university professorial positions — rather than focusing heavily on “male, pale and stale” ones — has been hugely controversial in the aftermath of a campaign to topple a statue of the “Victorian imperialist “ Cecil Rhodes at Oxford in 2016, writes Lipstick Alley.

It followed a similar #RhodesMustFall movement in South Africa, which succeeded in having a statue of Rhodes removed from the University of Cape Town.  At the royal’s January meeting, the duchess “expressed her surprise at the shockingly low figures of diversity in UK professors. “

Research from Advance HE revealed 68% of UK professors were white males, 23% white female, 6.5% black and minority ethnic (BME) male and 2% BME female. 

Meera Sabaratnam, head of the working party to decolonise the curriculum at SOAS, University of London and whose data inspired Meghan's 'Oh my God' response, agreed that 'change is long overdue'.

In October, the duchess received global praise for giving a powerful speech on feminism and women's suffrage in New Zealand on 125th anniversary of women achieving the right to vote in the country. Harper’s Bazaar writes: “t's clear that Meghan's passion for access to a fair education will influence the work she does in her royal patronages, and that's exciting.” To be frank, it sounds like Meghan is jumping out of an already hot frying pan into the fire. If no one reins her in, goddess bless the woman. ~ Anne

Winnie Harlow Poses In Bahamas As Sports Illustrated May 2019 Swimsuit Issue 'Rookie'

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Top Model Winnie Harlow shared a sneak peek on Instagram of her first Sports Illustrated: Swimsuit Edition photo shoot in the Bahamas. Winnie has left no stone unturned in her mission to shed light and understanding on the skin condition known as vitiligo. And now she will grace the pages of the prestigious swimsuit magazine, with a May 2019 publication date.

Winnie is the 2019 ‘rookie’ model, filmed at the Bahamas’ Grand Isle Resort xxxx

Harlow continues her win as another milestone for inclusivity. Some diseases remain relatively hidden from the general public. Vitiligo, a condition in which the pigment cells of the skin are destroyed in certain areas of the body is very visible. It’s generally believed by experts that vitiligo is an autoimmune condition in which the body's defense system mistakenly attacks and destroys the body’s pigment cells. The exact cause is unknown.

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While the disease isn’t painful and doesn’t bring significant health consequences, itbrings countless emotional and psychological challenges as white patches spread larger across one’s body. For Winnie to bring her skin condition into the world of modeling prompts immeasurable compliments around her inner wisdom and self-confidence. Harlow also walked the Victoria’s Secret Fashion Show in November 2018 in another professional coup.

Winnie Harlow Model Archives @ AOC