Urban outfitters apologises for shilling blood-soaked Kent State shirt

I swear, someone at Urban Outfitters has these tasteless garments as some sort of media-plan to get unlimited attention in the press. I have difficulty explaining their tone-deaf choice of items any other way. Someone thought this blood stained "Kent State" college sweatshirt was a cool vintage find, and added it to their vintage collection for the bargain price of $129. Just like the "Vintage red destroyed Tee" it looks like it's from the serial killer collection, with the red reminiscent of blood and the tears in the cloth reminding of violence, and the descriptor "destroyed" to boot. (Don't even get me started on paying that much for a shirt with holes in it).

Dean Kahler who was paralyzed in the Kent State shootings told Fox news that “This shows the continued lowbrow of Wall Street, and Urban Outfitters continues to perpetuate a low standard of ethics.”

Kent State University emailed out a statement that reads in part:

"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.
May 4, 1970, was a watershed moment for the country and especially the Kent State family.
We lost four students that day while nine others were wounded and countless others were changed forever.

The burning question isn't who will be fired for this faux pas, but if there will be a University of Texas, Virginia Tech, Sandy Hook and Columbine styles available too.

Urban outfitters has apologised on twitter for the shirt.

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.

about the author

Dabitch Creative Director, CEO, hell-raising sweetheart and editor of Adland. Globetrotting Swede who has lived and worked in New York, London, San Francisco, Amsterdam, Copenhagen and Stockholm.

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