Urban Outfitters is in the middle of another scandal involving questionable imagery in its clothing. Jewish groups and other critics say a yellow t-shirt on their site last week seemed to resemble a Star of David patch. And since the last time a patch of that kind was used was by Nazis who forced Jews to wear it leading up to and during the Holocaust, well, it wasn’t a good move.
Time.com says the $100 “Kellogg” t-shirt is designed by a Danish label, Wood Wood, and debuted on the site last week.
“We find this use of symbolism to be extremely distasteful and offensive, and we are outraged that your company would make this product available to your customers,” Barry Morrison, regional director of the Anti-Defamation League, wrote in a letter to the chairman of the retail firm.
The shirt is still on the site — but sans star. That’s because Wood Wood says the patch was only a prototype they’ve used before and not meant to be viewed on the store’s site. So, it’s just a plain yellow shirt for $100. Got it.
In a statement, the designer says:
as some of you are aware, several news sites have been writing about our ‘Kellog’ T-shirt, which feature an image of a six-pointed star, allegedly similar to the yellow badge jews were ordered to wear by the German nazis.
First of all the graphic is not the Star of David, and I can assure you that this is in no way a reference to judaism, nazism or the holocaust. The graphic came from working with patchwork and geometric patterns for our spring/summer collection ‘State of Mind’.
However when we received the prototype of this particular style we did recognize the resemblance, which is why we decided not to include the star patch on the final production T-shirt.
I assume the image people have reacted to comes from Urban Outfitters¬¥ web site. This must be a photograph of an early prototype.
I am sorry if anyone was offended seeing the shirt, it was of course never our intention to hurt any feelings with this.
Urban Outfitters has been under fire from critics claiming racism in its apparel offerings lately, including St. Patrick’s Day t-shirts depicting stereotypes of drunken, fighting Irishmen and a lawsuit from the Native American Navajo Nation for “derogatory and scandalous” designs.