Online pretentious fashion/assorted hipster goods retailer Urban Outfitters have once again embraced their tone-deaf, insensitive reputation following the new release of their Kent State “vintage” sweatshirt, retailing for a whopping $129. The Kent State sweatshirt, appeared this weekend as an “online exclusive” as part of the UO “Urban Renewal Vintage” line, and it’s described as:
Washed soft and perfectly broken in, this vintage Kent State sweatshirt is cut in a loose, slouchy fit. Excellent vintage condition. We only have one, so get it or regret it!
As a bit of background, on May 4th 1970, students at Kent State University were gunned down by the National Guard following protests against the Vietnam War. Four students were killed and nine others were wounded. The retailer claims to be naive of any connotations to the massacre, “ there is no blood on the shirt nor has this item been altered in any way. The red stains are discolouration from the original shade of the shirt and the holes are from natural wear and fray”.
Bad news for anyone looking to acquire the shirt – it is now sold out.
Urban Outfitters seem to have finally recognized the offence caused, taking to Twitter to note:
Urban Outfitters sincerely apologizes for any offense our Vintage Kent State Sweatshirt may have caused. It (cont) http://t.co/o3oKyPJFu8
— Urban Outfitters (@UrbanOutfitters) September 15, 2014
Around the same time as the Urban Outfitters “apology”, the leadership at Kent State issued a media statement voicing their disgust at this sweatshirt, stating “we take great offence to a company using our pain for their publicity and profit. This item is beyond poor taste and trivialises a loss of life that still hurts the Kent State community today”.
— Bloomberg News (@BloombergNews) September 15, 2014
The blood splattered, “vintage” sweatshirt is yet another design UO has come under fire for the trivialisation of serious historical issues such as the holocaust, as well as mental health problems and racism. It seems the retailer is no stranger to controversy, truly embracing the idea that any publicity is good publicity.
Feature Image: Urban Outfitters.