New Zealand fashion label Stolen Girlfriend's Club has apologised for an Instagram post that appeared to be mocking people who sleep in cars, saying they are "totally disturbed" and "deeply saddened" by that perception.
The now-deleted message was posted on Saturday night and showed the open boot of a car containing a mattress, some pink sheets and a couple of girls' dolls with the caption: "Just checked into the airBnB" and the hashtags "#airbnb #fivestar #5star".
Stolen Girlfriend's Club says the joke was intended to be about Airbnb accommodation and not the homeless, following negative responses from their followers:
"It's a bummer that people saw it as that," says the label's creative director Marc Moore.
"It was actually just a light-hearted poke at being cat-fished - when you're looking at accommodation and the place looks amazing, then you turn up and it's not actually that good. A lot of people got that, but unfortunately there were a few people that took offence and thought we were mocking homeless people, which is definitely never the intention."
Mr Moore says he had not seen any of the recent news coverage of Auckland families forced to live in their cars as a result of the housing crisis.
"I don't read the news that much, to be honest, but a few friends told me about that today. So it was just bad timing I guess."
Following the removal of the original Instagram post, Stolen Girlfriend's Club published this apology: