Web retailer Mr Vintage is unrepentant about creating a range of T-shirts copying designs from accused murderer David Bain's notorious woollen jerseys.

The release of the T-shirts comes in the second week of Bain's retrial on charges of murdering five members of his family in Dunedin in 1994.

However, Mr Vintage managing director Robert Ewan said the company only meant to comment on a "crime of fashion".

At Bain's first court appearances in the 1990s he became known for the unfashionable jerseys he wore.

But fashion industry heavyweights have condemned the T-shirts, saying they are a tasteless gimmick.

World fashion label founder Denise L'Estrange-Corbet said people should remember that the trial was about "the murder of his family".

"If proceeds from the sale of the T-shirts go towards his trial, then I think it is a good idea. If not, then it's a cheap way for a brand to lever publicity off something which so shocked New Zealanders," she told The Dominion Post.

Zambesi founder Liz Findlay agreed. "I feel that this is in bad taste and so what I think of the designs is irrelevant."

- NZPA