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Updated: Bloomingdale's Removes 'Damascus Burnout' Dress From Website

A Bloomingdale’s navy shift dress Photo: Bloomingdale’s

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Bloomingdale's is currently selling a dress from its in-house line, Aqua, that's particularly ill-timed: the Damascus Burnout Dress, on sale for $47.04.

According to the product copy, the navy blue fit-and-flare sleeveless dress has a “damask motif that's equal parts elegant and on-trend” and an “allover velvet burnout pattern.” Damask — an ornate patterned fabric you can find on cocktail dresses and throw pillows alike — originated in Damascus (the capital of Syria), and began being used in European textiles in the 11th century.

Since the Syrian civil war broke out in March 2011, more than 450,000 people have died, 6.1 million Syrians have been displaced throughout Syria, and 4.8 million have become refugees. As the conflict in Syria has continued to escalate, Bloomingdale’s has yet to take down the dress, or at the very least, rename it.

The dress appears to be part of a larger collection of damask-print apparel, including a Damascus top, Damascus crop top, and Damascus mini skirt, none of which include “burnout” in their descriptions. A burgundy-colored “burnout dress“ (also with a damask pattern) is available, though, without the regional descriptor.

We’ve reached out to Bloomingdale’s for comment and will update this post when we hear back.

Update: December 20th, 3:05 p.m.
This post has been updated to include a comment from Bloomingdales: “Thank you for bringing this to our attention. The item is being removed from the site and renamed. The original name was in no way intended to be insensitive and we are working swiftly to remedy the issue.”