So, the fashion industry isn’t widely known for its sensitivity. I don’t know if it’s because their perception of reality has been skewed by anorexic-looking models and excessive use of tulle cocaine, but many fashion giants are completely out of sync with the rest of the world. Almost like a too-thin time capsule, their views of body image, racial sensitivity and homophobia seem to be taken from the late 70s. Here are a few of those groovy fashion faux pas. Or as you young whippersnappers would say: Fashion Fails, Yo! (People still use “yo”, right?)
John Galliano was a celebrated designer for the world-famous fashion house Dior. During a moment of inebriation, he unleashed an onslaught of racial declarations, including “I love Hitler” and “People like you should be dead”. Unfortunately, this wasn’t the first time he berated and insulted someone with racial slurs.
This article could be completely dedicated to the racial insensitivities, blatant racism and just plain half-assed thought process behind their products. Here we go:
Eat Less T-Shirt
In a society that is in the throes of war on negative body image, Urban Outfitters thought it would be wise to design a shirt for women that is emblazoned with the motto “Eat Less”. I’m going to assume that the designer of this shirt was a passive aggressive WASP who was drunk on Chardonnay.
Chicago Gang Sign T-Shirt
Probably by the same designer, this shirt features the pitchfork symbol of Chicago’s Gangster Disciples, one of the area’s biggest and bloodiest gangs.
This is a line designed by badly appropriating tribal symbols and designs from plastic dream catchers to pleather headdresses with feathers. The Native American woman that protested the company’s tasteless use of these cultural references, Sasha Houston Brown, appropriately characterized the line as if Ke$ha had violently exploded all over the products.
A parody version of Monopoly that played into racial stereotypes of individuals living in impoverished areas. Nice, keep it classy U.O.
Jack and Jill Card
It rewrites the classic nursery rhymes into a raunchy retelling, where in the end Jill is revealed, and I quote, “A closet tranny”.
A horrible collection of Anti-Semitic items, including the ’Jewish Star’ T-Shirt
A shirt with the Star of David on the breast, which is where the Nazi forced people to wear them, too, so they could identify them.
‘Everyone Loves a Jewish Girl’ T-Shirt
The phrase is surrounded by dollar signs and shopping bags on this design.
’Nazi Uniforms for LGBT Individuals’ Throw
Why would you want something that reminds you of a murderous regime that has become synonymous with intolerance hanging of the back of your couch?
A shirt’s color which was classified as ’Obama/Black’.
Kent State Sweatshirt with Red Stains
This needs clarification: on the 4th of May in 1970, four students were killed and nine were injured by the National Guard during a Vietnam Protest. Guess where? Yup, Kent State in Ohio.
Lord Ganesh Line
Yes, they printed a highly venerated deity from everything from socks to duvets.
Side Note: If that wasn’t enough, it was revealed that U.O.’s founder Richard Hayes had been a Rick Santorum campaign funder. If you think that it’s not a big deal, Santorum had likened homosexuality to bestiality. This resulted in the resignation of CEO Glen Senk who is openly gay.
What is wrong with these people? Pick up a history book for Pete’s effing sake! Clothing designer Zara had also created a faded blue-striped shirt with a Star of David on the breast that was also reminiscent of the uniform Nazi used for victims in concentration camps. They also sold a bag that featured cute green swastikas… oh, and lest we forget the necklace that eerily looks like little blackface images in a daisy chain.
Abercrombie and Finch
This company is well known for its hard-body models that adorn every available flat surface of their stores. Apparently, they also want anyone wearing their clothes or selling them to be just like those models. Their CEO went on record saying that they want to market their clothes exclusively to “cool, good-looking people. We don’t market to anyone else than that”. And their hiring policies reflected that by excluding anyone of minority or of a certain physical appearance. They also refuse to create clothing for anyone that isn’t “thin and beautiful”.
In ultimate irony, Mr. Abercombie and Finch, Mike Jeffries looks like Mickey Rourke and Gary Busey’s love child if it had been hit extremely hard in the face with the ugly stick. Would he refuse to sell himself clothes taking into consideration that he isn’t “beautiful”?
Nike’s Dishonorable Mentions
Nike named a pair of their sneakers ‘Black and Tans’ for St. Patrick’s Day, which was the name of a brutal police force, notorious for its civilian target violence, and which was active in post-WWI Ireland. Another horrible naming incident was when Umbro named a pair of shoes after the gas that was used in concentration camps, Zyklon.
Wow. So, the fashion industry can pretty much be personified as a bigoted, shotgun-toting racist living in a past decade. Do you have any other additions to my list? Please let me know in the comment section below.