In the latest of a string of controversies for the Kristen Cavallari of lifestyle brands ("Ugh, I hate all this drama!" moans URBN INC, with a glint in its eye), Urban Outfitters is being urged by the Anti-Defamation League to remove a tapestry resembling the uniforms gay male prisoners wore in Nazi concentration camps.
ADL National Director and Holocaust survivor Abraham H. Foxman said in a statement:
"Whether intentional or not, this gray and white stripped pattern and pink triangle combination is deeply offensive and should not be mainstreamed into popular culture. We urge Urban Outfitters to immediately remove the product eerily reminiscent of clothing forced upon the victims of the Holocaust from their stores and online."
This newest backlash comes a few months after the company sold a vintage Kent State sweatshirt complete with blood spatter; a UO spokesperson sent out an apologetic statement explaining that it was an issue of "discoloration."
The Anti-Defamation League has a history of calling Urban Outfitters out on its bullshit: in 2012, the ADL harshly criticized Urban Outfitters for selling a t-shirt with the yellow Star of David symbol Jews were forced to wear in Nazi Europe; the organization called it "a new low" for a company that has long "tread on the feelings and reinforced stereotypes of various groups—Christians, blacks, and Irish, Mexican, and Jewish-Americans…the list goes on."
In the case of the tapestry below, which is not for sale on the website—according to the Washington Post, it was noticed and photographed in a Colorado store—the jury's out. Graphic neon-accented patterns have been big in the home decor arena for the past few years, and it seems unlikely that Urban Outfitters designers are gifted with the cultural sensitivity and/or historical knowledge necessary to recognize this particular legacy.
That said, would anybody be surprised to find that this company is purposely stoking the flames of controversy for press?
An Urban Outfitters spokeswoman did not immediately return our request for comment.
Image via Associated Press