Update: 3:15 ET Kenneth Cole may know fashion but what about anatomy - as in the concept of a tin ear?
That's the question du jour on the Internet after the fashion house posted a tweet earlier today which used the turmoil in Egypt to plug its "new spring collection." The posting triggered a flood of comments blasting the company for putting out what critics saw as a tasteless tweet.
In a statement put out under his name this afternoon, company chairman Kenneth Cole wrote:
"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."
Cole has a reputation for churning out news-related advertisements. After last year's Gulf oil spill, for instance, he raised money with an online T-shirt store, using shirt slogans like "I Clean Up Well." In 2009, when a commercial airliner made a safe emergency landing on New York's Hudson River, a Cole billboard carried the pitch, "In tough times, some land on their feet (others on the Hudson)."