U.S. designer Kenneth Cole has been accused of belittling the possible strike on Syria in order to sell his brand, after a Twitter comment he posted on Thursday garnered a negative response.
He tweeted: “Boots on the ground” or not, let’s not forget about sandals, pumps and loafers. #Footwear
The designer has been criticized for supposedly making light of U.S. President Barack Obama’s push for military action in Syria.
BuzzFeed tweeted: “@KennethCole Decided To Tweet Something Completely Stupid About Syria.”
“Ken, why don’t you fly over here and see if you still think it’s a joke. Kenneth Cole’s tweet on Syria sparks outrage” tweeted Jacqueline M. Hadel via @CNNMoney.
While PR Daily News tweeted: “@KennethCole Still Thinks War Is A Funny Promo Gimmick,” in reference to a previous tweet made by Cole in 2011 regarding the Egyptian uprising against Hosni Mubarak.
He tweeted: ”Millions are in uproar in #Cairo. Rumor is they heard our new spring collection is now available online,” but soon removed the tweet and posted an apology on Facebook.
“I apologize to everyone who was offended by my insensitive tweet about the situation in Egypt. I’ve dedicated my life to raising awareness about serious social issues, and in hindsight my attempt at humor regarding a nation liberating themselves against oppression was poorly timed and absolutely inappropriate,” he stated.
On this occasion, however, he is unrepentant and responded to his critics in a video posted on his Instagram account.
“I’ve always used my platform to provoke dialogue about important issues, including HIV AIDS, war and homelessness. I’m well aware of the risks that come with this approach, and if this encourages further awareness and discussion of critical issues, then all the better,” stated Cole.
While many on social media condemned Cole’s comments, there are some tweets that highlight the designer’s attempt to “turn tragedy into sales.”
“Who said the fashion world was vapid and airheaded? Kenneth Cole again turns tragedy into a sales,” tweeted Niels Footman.