Just when you think, okay, they’ve finally learned their lesson, after the Kent State sweatshirt debacle, and the prescription bottle shot glass, and that ‘Depression’ tee, the corporate office throws a holiday party and invites staffers to wear, in no particular order: turbans, saris, kurtas, juttis and harem pants. Sigh.
The ever-indefatigable Gawker got its hands on an email Urban Outfitters’ CEO Dick Hayne sent to staffers after offering for sale a mock-bloody Kent State University sweatshirt. It’s… something.
In the last 24 hours we have received a lot of negative publicity and many of you have received communication from friends, family members or those outside the URBN community regarding a Kent State sweatshirt for sale on urbanoutfitters.com that was mistakenly identified as ‘bloody’. We wanted to address this with our community and provide some ‘facts’.
Zara’s Holocaust Shirt, Urban’s Kent State Sweatshirt: Offensive Clothing Is the Retail Version of a Sex Tape
Well, they got what they wanted.
We’re talking about them, just as we talked, over and over and over again, about American Apparel, which filled store windows with mannequins sprouting giant clouds of pubic hair; about Zara, which sold a children’s shirt that eerily remsembled those worn by concentration camp prisoners; about MAC, which once tried to name a nail polish collection after a town in Mexico known for the countless number of women raped and murdered there, without police response.
[Update 12:12 p.m.] Urban Outfitters has apologized.
Urban Outfitters apologized on Monday morning for marketing a “vintage” Kent State University sweatshirt that featured what could easily be perceived as blood stains and bullet holes, The Washington Post reports.
“It was never our intention to allude to the tragic events that took place at Kent State in 1970 and we are extremely saddened that this item was perceived as such,” the company said in a statement, adding that the red marks are discolorations and the holes the result of wear and tear.
The university issued a statement condemning the product, The Plain Dealer reports. “We take great offense to a company using our pain for their publicity and profit,” the university said. “This item is beyond poor taste and trivializes a loss of life that still hurts the Kent State community today.”
In 1970, Army National Guardsmen opened fire on students at Kent State University in Ohio who were protesting the Vietnam War. The troops killed four of the students and wounded nine. In 2014, Urban Outfitters thought it would be cool to sell mass-produced Kent State sweaters with fake bulletholes and bloodstains. The garments cost $129.
As of 9:10 a.m. today, Urban Outfitters’ website said the item was “sold out.” We don’t know if that means the item actually sold out, or if Urban Outfitters decided it didn’t need another headache caused by its own corporate tastelessness.
Previously: Gawker: Urban Outfitters Carries Bestiality Book
Previously: No “Depression”: Urban Outfitters Tosses Tee
Previously: Urban Outfitters Is Selling Various Offensive and Stupid Drug-Related Things, Vol. 967
Okay, we admit it: our 2014 summer fashion photo shoot was a lot of fun, but when it came to the price tags of the clothes, the vast majority of our readers couldn’t even think about purchasing anything we featured. Now that things have taken a dramatic turn for the cool, I wanted to feature some fun seasonally-appropriate clothing that can be purchased locally and that won’t require that you break open your piggy bank.
This Fall transitional period is a great time to stock up on some basics, and my picks below can all be found either in Center City or a quick trip to either Cherry Hill Mall or King of Prussia. Check out what made the cut. And, ladies, don’t worry: I have a similar feature coming out for you on Monday!
Some days we don’t know if the news is good or bad. Let’s see what we can do with this announcement by the state’s economic development authorities:
You know Glen Senk. Even if you don’t think you know Glen Senk, you know him. He’s the guy who helped launch Anthropologie—the guy responsible for turning that single Wayne prototype store, which at that time didn’t sell any of its cool antique props, into a lifestyle mega-brand. He was the CEO of Urban Outfitters from 2007 until 2012. (A note: Urban’s quarterly sales have been steadily sinking since his resignation. Coincidence?) And now he’s decided that instead of leading a company, he’s going to help get many of them off the ground. Yep, this means investing—to the tune of $350 million.
Huzzah! Urban Outfitters’ new fitness brand, Without Walls, has finally made an in-store appearance in our area. The brand officially got off the ground last month, with rollouts as mini-boutiques inside UO stores in California and New York, but at the time, there were no plans to bring it to any stores in our area.
Shoppist’s sister site Be Well Philly spilled the details on Without Walls, the new Urban Outfitters outdoors and fitness brand slated to launch March 1st. The promo video is enticing (it almost makes me want to go camping) and the gear looks cool—bright patterned tights, colorful sports bras, colorblocked windbreakers, one questionable bodysuit. Surely it will be a more affordable option than Lululemon, which I’ve come to think of as the John Galliano of workout wear: pretty to look at, uber-expensive, and always embroiled in some sort of controversy.