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UK department store pulls children’s party dress ‘Lollita’ from website after social media backlash

Its screenshot started making rounds on social media after writer Victoria Coren Mitchell tweeted saying, "If you were going to think of a name for a child’s party dress, what would you NOT call it?"

children's party dress 'Lollita', Lollita dress controversy, UK department store pulls children's dress, social media criticism over dress named 'Lollita' indian express newsThe picture of the dress shared on social media. (Photo: Twitter/@VictoriaCoren)

When brands sit down to name a product, there is a lot of planning and brainstorming that happens. There is a need for the product name to resonate with customers for them to buy it. But if there is case-study on what not to name a product, it is right here: a lesson in bad marketing.

John Lewis, a brand of high-end department stores operating in Britain, removed a children’s party dress after netizens called it out for having a bizarre name — ‘Lollita’. According to an Independent report, the department store stopped the sale of the kids’ party dress, which was made by clothing brand ‘Chi Chi London’ and sold on its website.

For the uninitiated, the reason the name is controversial is because it takes after Russian-American author Vladimir Nabokov’s novel Lolita (1955), which dealt with the sexualisation of a minor. It is a story of a 12-year-old girl named ‘Dolores’ who is sexually-abused by her stepfather, who calls her ‘Lolita’.

The dress in question is burgundy in colour with short lace sleeves and a flow that ends around the knee. Its screenshot started making rounds on social media when writer Victoria Coren Mitchell tweeted saying, “If you were going to think of a name for a child’s party dress, what would you NOT call it?”

Take a look at how people have reacted:

Per the Independent report, the dress was available for £50 (INR 5,024) for children aged three to 11 years old.

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First published on: 13-12-2021 at 13:20 IST
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