Kenneth Cole apologized Thursday for a tweet on Twitter about the political unrest in Egypt, in which he said millions of people were in uproar in Cairo because “they heard our new spring collection is now available online.”
The tweet, first posted Thursday morning, drew strong criticism from Internet users around the world. As backlash intensified, Cole took down the sentiment about four hours after he penned it. Cole, the chairman and chief creative officer of Kenneth Cole Productions, also issued a written apology on the brand’s Facebook page.
“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,” Cole said.
Cole also clarified on Twitter that he was not “intending to make light of a serious situation. We understand the sensitivity of this historic moment.”
Despite the apology, Cole and his original tweet continued to trend as hot topics on Twitter, generating global press attention.
It also spawned a fake Twitter account, @KennethColePR, parodying the company’s public relations blunder.