In recent years, various clothing companies (cough, Urban Outfitters, cough) have gotten a lot of flack for their less-than-kosher designs. Now, Target can add their name to that list with this lovely holiday sweater that pokes fun at a common mental illness. According to the Huffington Post, over 2 million adults suffer from OCD in the United States, so naturally no one’s taking this little pun lightly.
However, despite the backlash, Target has refused to stop selling the offensive sweater.
But they’re far from the only recent offenders. Here are some other examples of fashion items that failed so completely, it’s hard to look at them.
This is just the first in a long line of offensive shirts from Urban Outfitters. When this shirt came out back in 2010, consumers were furious that the company seemed to be promoting anorexia. It was promptly removed from their shelves.
And here’s the second! This blatant homage to mental illness came out just last year, and met the same intense social media backlash as the “Eat Less” shirt. Urban responded with this apology: “We’re sorry to those offended by the tee we bought from the @DEPRESSIONcomsg brand. We were trying to support a small brand, not glamorize mental illness in any way.” However, this time, people were less quick to forgive the “edgy” company.
The Gap might be the last place from where you’d expect an offensive shirt to come, but this one managed to sneak in there. While the company might’ve thought it would appeal to hipsters as a thought-provoking message, they neglected to see the ethnic cleansing, social genocide it implied.
And what wardrobe would be complete without a floral and swastika print hobo bag? Not sure how Zara’s designers got this one past the marketing team, but there it is all the same. The bag was quickly removed from stores back in 2007.
Well it appears Zara has a yen for the Holocaust. This kids shirt came out last year, and while the company swears the gold star is supposed to be indicative of a sheriff, placing it on a striped blue shirt made it eerily reminiscent of the uniforms Jews had to wear in Nazi concentration camps.
And the award for most offensive piece of clothing by Urban Outfitters goes to… this bloodstained Kent State sweatshirt! Honestly, I’d love to have been in the room when the sales team pitched it. For those who don’t know, the Kent State Massacre occured back in 1970 when four unarmed students were shot and killed by the Ohio National Guard during a Vietnam War protest.
While there was only one sweatshirt, as it was a part of their “vintage collection,” the world was outraged, and Urban, again, quickly removed the sweatshirt from their site. They responded with a seemingly genuine apology: “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.”
Again with the Jewish stars! Are they really that fashionable? This shirt came out back in 2012, and is another from the “extremely offensive” line by Urban Outfitters. While it’s not a gold star, the shape is the same as the Star of David the Nazis forced Jews to wear leading up to the Holocaust. The Anti-Defamation League wrote a very angry letter to Urban, and the head of the company Wood Wood, which designed the shirt, responded by saying the pattern was in no way intended to be anti-Semitic. Even if that’s the case, pricing a T-shirt at $100 is offensive enough on its own.
This is real. This actually sold on Amazon back in 2013. It was put on the site by Massachusetts retailer Solid Gold Bomb, and immediately received endless complaints from customers. It was rapidly removed, and the company shuttered shortly after, but that doesn’t excuse Amazon for allowing it on their site in the first place.