An image of a bed in the boot of a car posted on social media by an Auckland fashion label has been slammed as offensive by a national homeless support group.
The image, showing the bed made up with curtains and brightly coloured pillows, was posted on Instagram on Saturday night by Stolen Girlfriends Club, a fashion brand founded in 2005 by three young men Dan Gosling, Marc Moore and Luke Harwood.
NZ Coalition to End Homelessness co-chair Corie Haddock said it was "inappropriate" at a time when some South Auckland families had spent much of this winter living in their cars because they could not afford anywhere else to live.
"It shows a lack of insight, a lack of social responsibility, but they are a fashion label so I guess it's not high on their priority list. It would be risque and they want to sell things, I suppose," he said.
"I think some homeless people would be offended by it when you consider the cost of some of the products that they sell."
The label's website aimed at young people sells T-shirts from $99 upwards, jeans from $209 and hoodies for $229.
But creative director Marc Moore said he just took the image from Tumblr and re-posted it as a "light-hearted" dig at advertisements for accommodation such as Airbnb.
"It was a poke at advertising where you are looking at accommodation on a website and when you go to check in it's nothing like that," he said.
Although he lives in Auckland, he said he was not aware that people had been sleeping in cars in the city.
"I don't read the news very often, I'm always busy working on the fashion. I didn't realise there was a current issue at the moment," he said.
"I just look at the fashion blogs and stuff. That's what I do."
He removed the post on Sunday morning and published an apology.
"There were a lot of hateful comments," he said.
"There were a lot of personal messages too saying don't take it down, it's freedom of speech, people need to relax. But I thought it was best to take it down and issue an apology."