A fashion label was left red-faced yesterday after making a mistake its spokesman admitted was “extremely stupid.”
The offending item was a Wasted Heroes T-shirt on the Marketplace section of the ASOS website which had the word “Slave” on it and was modelled by a black man.
As word spread on Twitter, many vented their anger, including @kerritweetz who tweeted: “Y’all are racist @ASOS @ASOS_HeretoHelp You really labelled a black man as a slave?”
@RaedKhan_ tweeted: “Not sure what I’m more shocked by. ASOS promoting a clothing line called ‘Slave’ or the black male that was happy to model it..?!”
The ASOS Marketplace is an unregulated section of the site selling clothes from vintage stockists and independent designers, such as Wasted Heroes.
While the T-shirt was swiftly removed from the site and the ASOS customer service team tried to placate furious customers, Liverpool-based Wasted Heroes was quick to apologise.
A spokesman tweeted that the garment “wasn’t meant to cause any offence” and “was about being a slave to a label,” adding that “it really was extremely stupid of us.”
However the T-shirt is only one of a collection featuring the word “slave” alongside logos in the style of global brands such as Disney, Burberry, Nike and Burger King.
None of the range has been removed from the Wasted Heroes website, which begs the question: what exactly do they think was “extremely stupid?” Creating a T-shirt collection around the word “slave” or selling it on ASOS where there is a far greater chance of it triggering a public outcry?
An ASOS spokesperson told MailOnline: “Marketplace is a collection of independent sellers who must agree to our terms and conditions when they join. Whenever we find a product that violates our policies we remove it immediately. There is also a ‘report this item’ link under every product picture.”