Urban Outfitters Offends With Blood-Stained Kent State Sweatshirt

Urban Outfitters sweatshirt

Urban Outfitters Offends With Blood-Stained Kent State Sweatshirt

The retailer sparks outrage with controversial item.

Published September 15, 2014

Urban Outfitters is under fire once again for selling a controversial item of clothing. The retail giant crossed a whole new line of insensitivity when it decided to sell a "Vintage Kent State University" sweatshirt splattered with blood. 

The $129 cotton sweatshirt appears to reference the shooting at the university in 1970 in which four unarmed college students were killed by the Ohio National Guard during protests of the Vietnam war.

This wouldn't be the first time Urban Outfitters has caused an uproar with its products. Among their many faux pas, the retailer previously sold a seemingly pro-anorexia T-shirt reading "Eat Less," a line of "Navajo fashion" that violated a trademark held by the Native American tribe and a T-shirt sold in two color options, "white/charcoal" and "Obama/black." 

Kent State University lashed out at the retailer’s decision to sell the sweatshirt. “We take great offense to a company using our pain for their publicity and profit,” a statement from the university reads. "This item is beyond poor taste and trivializes a loss of life that still hurts the Kent State community today."

The company was quick to issue an apology for its latest offense on Twitter Monday morning. “Urban Outfitters sincerely apologizes for any offense our Vintage Kent State Sweatshirt may have caused," a statement from the company reeds. "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.”

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(Photo: Urban Outfitters)

Written by Evelyn Diaz


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