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Opinion Urban Outfitters clothing stunt raises eyebrows

Urban Outfitters clothing stunt raises eyebrows


Urban Outfitters faces serious controversy after posting this seeimingly blood-spattered vintage Kent State University sweatshirt on their website under the sun-faded vintage collection. - Courtesy photo
Urban Outfitters faces serious controversy after posting this seeimingly blood-spattered vintage Kent State University sweatshirt on their website under the sun-faded vintage collection. – Courtesy photo

Urban Outfitters has been the center of media attention after, once again, releasing a controversial article of clothing.

The company unveiled a vintage one-of-a-kind Kent State University sweatshirt on their website as part of their sun-faded vintage collection. The sweatshirt has caused such an outrage because it has stains that resemble blood and some wear and tear to the article of clothing.

On May 4, 1970, students at Kent State University gathered together in protest against the spread of the Vietnam War into Cambodia. According to the New York Times, Kent State’s students had been holding a rally for three nights when the National Guard came in to unleash tear gas on the crowd of students. The National Guard then proceeded to open fire on the students, sending out 67 shots and killing four people.

Urban Outfitters has always been one of my favorite stores. I remember the first Urban I ever stepped foot in. I was in Chicago for Thanksgiving my senior year of high school.

I wandered into the store in awe, wide-eyed and squealing as I kept finding new things I liked. Their style is different, edgy and sometimes controversial.

Honestly, I do not believe that Urban would sell a sweatshirt that they felt was worn by a victim of the Kent State tragedy. Not only is that extremely unethical but it’s also morbid and disgusting.

But, Gossip Girl said it best, “You’re nobody until you’re talked about.”

In my opinion, Urban was looking to cause some controversy. The franchise has always released items that really ruffled some feathers. From their “Eat Less” T-shirts that many felt encouraged eating disorders to using religious symbols on different articles of clothing, Urban Outfitters keeps themselves on the media’s radar.

The company should have thought this idea out a little better. Using words such as “depression” and “eat less” to decorate a shirt did cause some people to  be really upset, but it was forgotten about after a while. The Kent State shooting was a national tragedy that the country is still feeling the effects from and still commemorates every year on its anniversary. People haven’t forgotten and they will never forget.

I am all about getting people a little riled up but the company didn’t need to use an event like that to get the media looking at them.

Urban Outfitters has issued an apology explaining that the stains were not from blood but rather from natural fading. They reported the vintage piece was purchased from the Rose Bowl Flea Market.

Though I don’t believe the item was worn by one of the deceased or harmed persons from the Kent State shooting, I do believe that this time Urban Outfitters took it a little too far. Next time the company wants to strike up some controversy, they should think about their plan of action a little longer.

The company will feel the effects of their actions; but Urban will once again rise above and keep being the fabulous franchise it is.

Mary Sergeant
Writer and Photographer for the Student Printz at the University of Southern Mississippi

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