Urban Outfitters is an extremely popular clothing store for young woman in high school and college. I myself, and almost all of my friends, own at least one piece of clothing from the trendy store. I can remember the first time I discovered Urban Outfitters. When I was a freshman in high school, I was a huge fan of celebrities like Miley Cyrus and Selena Gomez, who are my age. I was constantly looking at what they were wearing and even went on sites such as “dresslikemiley.com” that would have pictures of Miley along with a description of each brand that she was wearing. This was how I discovered the brand Urban Outfitters. Below are pictures of Miley Cyrus and Selena Gomez both carrying Urban Outfitters bags:
Urban Outfitters received plenty of free marketing from these celebrities making it one of the most popular clothing stores among young women. Ever since I discovered Urban Outfitters, I have shopped there for years. However, as much as Urban Outfitters has been consistently popular, it has also been as equally controversial. In 2010, they came out with a shirt that had the saying “Eat Less”.
Naturally, there was a huge amount of backlash. Not only is the shirt extremely tasteless, making light of eating disorders, but is also encouraging young females to strive to be as skinny as the model wearing the shirt. Urban Outfitters eventually pulled the shirt from all stores and issued an apology. It would seem, though, that they did not learn their lesson. Over the years they have come out with equally disturbing and offensive shirts that have made me, and many others, question they professionalism and morality behind this company. Another one of the many controversial items was a t-shirt sold on their website that was offered in two colors: “White/Charcoal and Obama/Black”. Seriously? Who at Urban Outfitters actually thought that this was OK? And lastly, their latest controversy. This month, September 2014, they put out a faux blood splattered sweatshirt that says Kent State University on it, seemingly being a reference to the Kent State massacre in 1970.
Seriously, this is an actual sweatshirt that Urban Outfitters decided to sell. You can’t even make this stuff up. Obviously, this is horrifyingly offensive and just straight disturbing. Sadly, it is the same story every time; Urban Outfitters puts out something offensive and then makes a public apology. However, it is pretty clear that this point that all Urban Outfitters is looking for is attention, no matter how bad that attention might be. In a recent NBC article “Reality Check: Latest Urban Outfitters’ Controversy a “Mistake” or Marketing Ploy?”, they called this “shock advertising”. These items are not mistakes but actually intentional marketing tactics. Although they might see this as “good marketing”, the messages that they are conveying to their customers are horrifying and completely irresponsible. So, when do consumers decide that enough is enough?