by CAROLINE GAVURA Section Editor
Social media blew up when a blood-red-stained Kent State sweatshirt went on sale on Urban Outfitter’s website with the caption, “Get it or regret it!”
The one-of-a-kind sweatshirt was called “vintage” for its faded color, but was soon pulled because of the blood-splatter-red pattern that was reminiscent of the Kent State Massacre of 1970.
Four Kent State students were shot by the Ohio National Guard after holding a peaceful protest against the war going on in Vietnam.
Consumers were outraged and took to sites like twitter to voice their opinions on the offensive top.
“Everyone went crazy on twitter over the Kent State sweater- which they should have! It is unacceptable for these companies to be making these ‘mistakes’ and they should apologize to all the people they have offended over these items,” said senior Kate Broskie.
This is not the first time Urban Outfitters have created a stir with their clothing. Sophia Bush, star of “Chicago PD”, publicly reprimanded the company on her blog for selling a shirt for girls that said “Eat less”.
“You should issue a public apology, and make a hefty donation to a women’s organization that supports those stricken with eating disorders. I am sickened that anyone, on any board, in your gigantic company would have voted ‘yes’ on such a thing, let alone enough of you to manufacture an item with such a hurtful message. It’s like handing a suicidal person a loaded gun. You should know better,” she said.
Zara was also under fire this summer for designing a t-shirt for toddlers that resembles a Holocaust prison uniform. This caused similar outbursts from consumers who were enraged that such a sensitive topic was being mocked though children’s clothing of all things.
Both Urban Outfitters and Zara have repeatedly apologized to the public for manufacturing the clothing, although they claim that each incident was a mere accident.
Zara claimed the little boy’s shirt was inspired by early American western films, with the star on the shirt saying “Sheriff”, and in no way related to the Holocaust.
Urban Outfitters sent out a lengthy statement via their twitter account saying, ” Urban Outfitters sincerely apologizes for any offense our Vintage Kent State Sweatshirt may have caused. 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 one-of-a-kind item was purchased as part of our sun-faded vintage collection. There is no blood on this shirt nor has this item been altered in any way. The red stains are discoloration from the original shade of the shirt and the holes are from natural wear and fray. Again, we deeply regret that this item was perceived negatively and we have removed it immediately from our website to avoid further upset.”
With all of this controversial clothing being produced, it makes one wonder – were all of these clothing pieces simply accidental, or is this a public relations stunt?
“The controversial shirt from Zara had to have been on purpose! It looked exactly like the uniform Jewish people had to wear in concentration camps. It was almost haunting how much they look alike, and even more creepy that it was designed for children,” said senior Bree Mckenna.
On purpose or not, the companies have succeeded in being the most talked about stores on social media – something benevolent companies spend millions of dollars trying to accomplish.
Do you think the offensive clothing was just a mistake? Or are these companies just trying to create more buzz around their products?