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September 26, 2014

Urban Outfitters has Struck Again! ~ Carolyn Gladd

kent state sweatshirt

Our grandparents were right about our tasteless sense of style after all.

Expensive jeans with rips and frayed bottoms, paint splattered t-shirts and faded sweatshirts that make our grandparents cringe in disgust are finally paying their price.

This type of clothing can easily create a leisurely look, often worn by people not meaning to offend anybody. However, Urban Outfitters line of clothing has been quite, well, un-charming. Remember earlier in the year when Urban Outfitters was selling a cropped white t-shirt with the word (and sickness) depression printed all over? How about the clingy, gray v-neck stating Eat Less across the chest?

Or in 2012, when the badge that the Nazis forced the Jewish community to wear during World War II was sewn onto a slew of t-shirts for sale?

Urban Outfitters has proven to offend consumers and for understandable reasons.

All of these items were pulled from Urban Outfitters website but could still be found in stores and on eBay. Urban Outfitters apologized for these incidences, however, there was no promise made that they would discontinue creating offensive clothing.

Urban Outfitters has struck again! This time angering Kent State University, among many others affected by the tragedy of May 4, 1970.

Their new faded, slouchy, soft, broken-in red sweatshirt, seen in the sun-faded collection has Kent State University’s logo stamped in the middle. In the left armpit of the sweatshirt there are extra dark red blotches which closely resemble bloodstains.

On May 4 1970, Kent State University lost four students. The unarmed students were among a mass of others protesting the Vietnam War. They were killed when the Ohio National Guard open fired 67 shots in 13 seconds.

This sweatshirt pokes at the still-open wounds of many people affected by the horror of this day.

The University, feeling offended and disgusted by Urban Outfitters attempt to make a profit from their distraught, reacts to the sweatshirt:

“We lost four students that day while nine others were wounded and countless others were changed forever. We take great offense to a company using our pain for their publicity and profit. This item is beyond poor taste and trivializes a loss of life that still hurts the Kent State community today.

We invite the leaders of this company as well as anyone who invested in this item to tour our May 4 Visitors Center, which opened two years ago, to gain perspective on what happened 44 years ago and apply its meaning to the future.”

Urban Outfitters apologized via Twitter, of course acting oblivious to any sign of offensiveness:

“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.”

The sweatshirt was removed from the website, appearing to be sold out. However, the sweatshirt did not disappear from the Internet. Owners of the new sweatshirt posted a bid on eBay starting at $550 with a buy now price of a whopping $2500. No one has purchased this hideous sweatshirt, but once bought, the seller claims that half of the profits will be donated to the Southern Poverty Law Center.

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Apprentice Editor: Alicia Wozniak / Editor: Ashleigh Hitchcock

Photo: YouTube Video Still

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