John Lewis has pulled a child’s party dress named “Lollita” from its shelves after receiving criticism for stocking it. The Chi Chi London “Lollita” dress was on sale for children aged three to 11 years old on the retailer’s website for £50.
The name is similar to Vladimir Nabokov’s 1955 novel Lolita, which details child sexual abuse. It outlines how a middle-aged professor abuses a 12-year-old girl.
The description of the dress, which was previously on John Lewis’s website, said: “This dress is sure to become a partywear favourite … this pretty dress features delicate metallic embroidery, scalloped edges and a chiffon skirt with tulle underlay that’s perfect for twirling on the dance floor.”
Chi Chi London is a fashion brand that stocks its clothes with the department store. The dress does not appear on the company’s website either.
The PA news agency has contacted the brand for comment.
The television presenter Victoria Coren Mitchell tweeted about the dress to her followers. She said: “If you were going to think of a name for a child’s party dress, what would you NOT call it?”
Replying to her tweet, one person said: “That’s grotesque and vile.” Another person added: “I would not be able to buy it with that name. Crazy to call it that. The dress is very pretty but I couldn’t.”
One Twitter user stated it was different to the novel, due to having two “l”s in the name.
A spokeswoman from John Lewis said: “We removed this product from sale as soon as it was brought to our attention and we apologise for the upset caused.”