Kenneth Cole Tweets About Syria, Faces Backlash For Being ‘Insensitive’

US fashion designer Kenneth Cole has posted a controversial tweet referencing Syria on his personal Twitter account, drawing in widespread criticism for being insensitive.

The tweet, posted Thursday afternoon, makes light of the Syrian conflict in order to promote his line of footwear:

Cole is no stranger to corporate tweeting faux pas. In February 2011, he tweeted about Egypt, using the Cairo protests to promote his website: “Millions are in uproar in #Cairo. Rumor is they heard our new spring collection is now available online at -KC.”

Then in April this year, after the Senate failed to pass legislation to expand background checks on gun buyers, Cole tweeted a link to an ad stating “Regardless of the right to bear arms, we in no way condone the right to bare feet.”

Though the Cairo tweet was later deleted after Cole issued an apology, the tweet referencing Syria is still online.

In a statement issued through a spokesperson, Cole responded to the criticism of his tweet as follows:

“For 30 years I have used my platform in provocative ways to encourage a healthy 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 about critical issues then all the better.”