The president of Quebec fashion brand Simons apologized on Monday for a new line of lingerie the company named after trailblazing Canadian women, including former Supreme Court chief justice Beverley McLachlin.
In a statement posted on the company website, Peter Simons said they had wanted to highlight “inspirational Canadian women who have made an historic contribution to our country” but recognized the campaign was not appropriate.
“As President of La Maison Simons, I allowed the use of the Right Honourable Beverley McLachlin’s name to market one of our products without her permission or knowledge,” Simons said.
“This initiative was in poor taste and I offer my heartfelt and sincerest apologies for this inappropriate use of Ms. McLachlin’s name as well as that of the other women.”
Simons said all material related to the campaign has been destroyed.
The company will also participate in the fundraising campaign with Ottawa’s Cornerstone Housing for Women in response to a request by McLachlin.
The lingerie line, called Miiyu, was described in a marketing launch email on Sept. 6 as giving their normal line of bras “a makeover in order to tempt you even more.”
“Through their confidence, curiosity and ambition, these female figures embody what it means to be a Miiyu woman,” the email blast said.
Nellie McClung, one of the most famous Canadian suffragettes and a key figure in the legal case that saw women established as legal persons under Canadian law, was also one of the figures the company named a bra after.
Elsie MacGill, the first Canadian woman to earn a degree in electrical engineering, also appears to have been one of the figures, as were Canada’s first female lawyer, Clara Brett Martin, and first female foreign affairs minister, Flora MacDonald.