An Open Letter to Urban Outfitters

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Posted: March 23, 2015, 4:44 p.m.
by Ana Vega.

Well, Urban Outfitters, you truly are a “repeat offender,” as noted by Rachel Uniatowski in a previous Platform Magazine blog post.Once again, the spotlight is on the popular clothing and accessory brand. For $69, you too can purchase a tapestry resembling the outfits worn by Jews at Nazi concentration camps. And if that isn’t enough, you could also buy a fake blood-stained Kent State sweatshirt to stay warm this winter. And in case you needed help remembering how to lose weight before swimsuit season rolls around, Urban Outfitters has the perfect shirt you can wear that reads “Eat Less.”Urban Outfitters, why do you keep doing this? It seems to me that you can’t go a few months without needing to be the center of attention.

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One would assume that after upsetting customers multiple times within the past few years, Urban Outfitters would try to fly under the radar.

Its latest controversial product is a gray and white striped tapestry. What makes it so wrong is the pink triangles found throughout the pattern. According to the anti-defamation league (ADL), this is extremely similar to what the Nazis made gay men wear during the Holocaust. And let’s not forget about the T-shirt sold in 2012 that featured a star patch on the front pocket. In that case, many believed it to resemble the Star of David, which was embroidered onto Nazi prisoners’ uniforms at concentration camps.

ADL, a group fighting anti-Semitism, was not happy then and most certainly is not happy now. The organization wrote to Urban Outfitters asking the company to retract the item from stores and online immediately because it is “eerily reminiscent” of the clothing the captives were required to wear.

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Whether or not this item was intentionally meant to reflect such a horrific time in history, the least Urban Outfitters could do is apologize. Over a week has gone by, and we have heard nothing but crickets. Could the silence be a way of keeping the issue a long-lasting topic in the media? We are taught growing up that when you hurt someone’s feelings, you apologize. Same thing goes for PR Urban — where is that apology?

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