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Urban Outfitters Apologizes For Vintage Kent State Sweatshirt That Looks Blood-Spattered

This is why we can't have nice overpriced things!


ub kent state shirt

Ahhh—another day, another terrible decision from a big name clothing company about what kind of products to sell. So what was it this time, Urban Outfitters? A terrible misappropriation of Native American designs and imagery? A t-shirt that tells the women wearing and looking at it to “eat less”? How about blood-spattered college sweatshirt? Okay, no, that last one’s too terrible, it couldn’t possibly… what’s that? A “one of a kind” from Kent State? Ohhhhh boy.

Yup, as BuzzFeed noticed this morning, the “perfectly broken in” vintage sweatshirt was being advertised as part of the company’s “Vintage Finds” collection—so at the very least, Urban Outfitters didn’t decide to put this dye pattern over the front of it. But they probably should have thought better than to sell it at all, considering that Kent State is infamous for that time the Ohio National Guard killed 4 people and permanently paralyzed 9 others when they fired upon a crowd of students protesting the Vietnam War there in 1970. The tragedy is also sometimes called the “Kent State Massacre,” because that’s kind of what it was. So, you know, not the sort of thing you want to get red on.

Urban Outfitters has since apologized for their oversight in a Twitlonger post, because that’s definitely the most professional way tell people you’re sorry that your clothing is a stark reminder of one of the worst days in U.S. history (bolding ours for emphasis):

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.

Really? Really. Most people of my generation have only ever heard of Kent State because of the shootings there, and you’re going to suggest that a blood wouldn’t be the first thing somebody thinks of when they look at that shirt? And even if it was an oversight in this particular situation, why would you advertise a red splatter pattern on literally any actual college sweater ever in this country? Given the amount of school shootings that have taken place here, isn’t that already tempting fate?

At least Urban Outfitters had the good sense to completely remove the shirt from its website—but not before someone reportedly tried to buy it and flip it on eBay for several times the already-exorbitant asking price. Hooray for America!

(via BuzzFeed and People)

Previously in Terrible Ideas

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