Retail chain Urban Outfitters had themselves quite the little morning on social media when word started to get around that they were selling a “vintage-style” Kent State sweatshirt — with what appeared to be splatters of blood marks across the front of the jumper. The allusion to the Kent State shootings that took place on May 4, 1970, was pretty difficult to miss. The item has since been removed from the store’s website and the company’s spokeswoman Crystal Carroll said their public relations department has been in touch with Kent State in response to the reprimand posted on Kent State’s website.
Urban Outfitters also issued an apology via their Twitter account:
Urban Outfitters sincerely apologizes for any offense our Vintage Kent State Sweatshirt may have caused. 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. The one-of-a-kind item was purchased as part of our sun-faded vintage collection. There is no blood on this shirt nor has this item been altered in any way. The red stains are discoloration from the original shade of the shirt and the holes are from natural wear and fray. Again, we deeply regret that this item was perceived negatively and we have removed it immediately from our website to avoid further upset.
It seems a bit odd that there were no alterations, as Kent State’s colors are blue and gold. And unless the Urban Outfitters marketing department is comprised solely of 15-year-olds, someone seriously dropped the ball.
Despite all the negative publicity, the website is also featuring an in-depth interview with White Lung front woman Mish Way. In addition, there’s a video for the song “I Believe You,” which White Lung performed for a small crowd in L.A. Shot entirely in black and white, you get some nice close-ups of Anne-Marie Vassiliou’s drumming skills and it’s pretty hard to go wrong with Way screaming her lyrics, especially if you think of them as a response to the Urban Outfitters’ statement from earlier today.