People are angry about a choker that is basically a belt — and not just because belts belong on pants. ASOS is selling a belt designed to be worn around your neck, and apparently the brand didn’t see the creepy connection to death until folks pointed it out.
The necklace is notched like a belt circling the neck, with the slack hanging down in front. It was being sold on the site for more than $60, in colors like red and black — fitting for a necklace dubbed the Hanger Latex Flame Choker, a name that is just making matters worse.
The choker is no longer on the site, but enough shoppers saw it before its death — no pun intended — to turn it into a viral lashing (again, not intended) of the brand.
First were the fashionistas outraged at ASOS’s lack of creativity. “Urm. @ASOS are you drunk?! What the hell!” one Twitter user wrote.
Then viewers noticed the negative connotations (intentional or not). A Mumsnet user shared a screenshot of the item, with the caption, “I do not get offended easily, at all. I thought this was hideous, but together with the pose and brand name, isn’t it vile and insensitive? I’ve tweeted ASOS with no response … am I over reacting?” Someone replied, “That’s awful. The name, the image. I hope this isn’t triggering for anyone.” A Twitter user accused the brand of attempting “to make suicide fashionable.”
Some are defending the brand, while others are pointing out that the message might have been “sexual rather than suicide.” But the rest think it’s “vile” either way. “Horrible. Inappropriate in both a suicide and fetish manner. It needs to be taken down imo, and I am normally pretty tolerant. If it’s ‘just a belt’ then show it around her waist…” one wrote. “Christ almighty, that’s bad. Whether you take it as fetish style clothing, or whether your mind immediately goes to the suicide suggestion, there is nothing good in that image.”
Although ASOS hasn’t responded to the uproar, one thing we know for sure is that it didn’t name the item Hanger to offend anyone. Because ASOS didn’t name it at all. Hanger is the company that designs this range of accessories, which also includes similarly styled bikini tops and jackets.
ASOS has a knack for selling strange items. In fact, its “dripping blood” choker might look good layered with this one.
And the label isn’t the only one to distastefully attempt to turn death into a trend.
Just a few months ago, an Istanbul Fashion Week presentation resembled a bloody massacre more than a fashion show, with models covered in what looked like blood and carrying fake hearts. One model even waved around a knife before others fell to the ground.
Hu Sheguang’s 2016 China Fashion Week show was full of red, with unsettling details such as a model holding two blood-coated baby dolls and horned figures.
In 2010, bloodshed and war inspired Josephus Thimister’s Spring Couture collection. His lavish designs were darkened by dripping blood.
While we love a good Alexander McQueen skull, anything more realistic than that and it seems everyone agrees: Death does not become her.
ASOS did not respond to Yahoo Lifestyle’s request for comment.
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