At first glance, Urban Outfitters seems to be nothing more than an insanely overpriced clothing store for the 18 to 28 year-old “hipster” target market. However, when you take a look at the “clothing” and other various trinkets they have enough guts to sell, the initial appeal of the place (if it ever appealed to you to begin with) quickly wears off. From the glorification of suicide to flat-out disrespect, Urban Outfitters products never fails to disgust me.
Kurt Cobain, lead singer of Nirvana, committed suicide in
April 1994 and left behind a suicide note in which he addressed his fans, his
wife, and his daughter. In 2015, Urban Outfitters in all of their trendy glory
decided that it would be a good idea to print a baseball tee with Cobain’s
suicide letter plastered across the front for the very low price (in Urban
Outfitter Land) of $25.19, shown below. Suicide is not a joke, a trend, or
something to glorify. The letter clearly shows a man who has given up all hope to lead a life worthy of living.
What does this shirt say to all the people who have been personally affected by
suicide? We need to give these people hope, not humiliate them and make suicide
the latest trend.
Kent State University in Ohio was the site of a deadly shootings of unarmed college students in May of 1970 in which four people lost their lives. In September 2014, Urban Outfitters decided to pay their respects to the remembrance of the Kent State shootings by releasing a $129 faux blood-spattered “Kent State” sweatshirt, pictured below. In a statement, Urban Outfitters said, “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.” Either Urban Outfitters designers lack common sense, or they’ve gone completely coldhearted for the sake of “fashion.” I’m thinking both.
As if the glorification of suicide and the general lack of respect for other human beings isn’t enough evidence as to why UO will never receive a single dime from me, there was one clothing item in particular that sent me over the edge. Urban Outfitters made no formal apology for, and have continued to sell, their “Eat Less” top despite all the negative pushback from anyone with brain. Anorexia is a diagnosable eating and mental disorder, and has the highest death rate out of all psychiatric illnesses (including depression). What does this shirt portray? It portrays the thought processes of someone with anorexia; there’s simply no way around this one. Good job once again for making serious issues the new trend, UO.
The list goes on and on about the controversies UO and their products have sparked in recent times. Visit this The Week article for more. Hopefully you too will see through Urban Outfitter's “trendy hipster” façade.