Boden Apologises For 'Sexist' Catalogue Telling Boys To Ride Bikes And Girls To Collect Flowers

"We will ask Don Draper to stop writing our copy."

Fashion retailer Boden has been forced to apologise for its latest children’s catalogue after parents branded it “sexist” for its stereotypical portrayals of boys and girls.

One page in the “Mini Boden” catalogue shows a boy posing with a bike next to the words: “Boys start every adventure with a bike (or a pair of very fast legs).”

In contrast a girl wearing a dress is pictured alongside the text: “Girls, new clothes are in sight fill your pockets (and wardrobes) with flowers and race this way.”

Dad-of-two Sam Williams tweeted side by side photos of the texts, describing them as “very limiting” to children.

“How we design and market children’s clothes, play, TV, and everything else can have a huge influence on how children perceive themselves and their aspirations in life,” he said in a follow up tweet.

“Children need to be allowed to grow, explore and form their own identities, to be comfortable with who they are.

“Dividing things up as either for boys or girls is very limiting, and sometimes damaging. There are boys who want to stuff their pockets with flowers, and girls who want to go on adventures, they shouldn’t be made to feel wrong or strange.”

Hundreds of parents replied and retweeted Williams’ photos, with many calling the tone of the texts “sexist”. Some responded by posting photos of their daughters enjoying adventures (no flowers in sight).

Boden has replied to Williams’ tweet with an apology on Twitter, saying: “We’re so sorry for blotting our copybook in such style. Whilst it wasn’t our intention to ever stereotype the roles of boys and girls, we probably over-egged things a little here.”

The retailer claimed it is committed to gender equality, and firmly believes in equal roles and opportunities for boys and girls, stating that is has a male founder and a female CEO.

“We really appreciate you bringing this to our attention, and will ensure that such a mishap doesn’t happen again,” it added. “Please accept our sincere apologies. And we will ask Don Draper to stop writing our copy.”

In a statement given to HuffPost UK, Boden added it will be introducing gender neutral t-shirts as well as a range of space prints for both boys and girls in summer 2019.