Five fashion controversies you won’t believe
The fashion world thrives on publicity. Some of their campaigns are designed to shock – but others cause unforeseen outrage.
It’s safe to say that the world of fashion has never shied away from causing a stir – whether that’s through marketing or the use of animal products in their ranges.
They say any publicity is good publicity, and there are few industries in which this sentiment rings truer. Indeed, fashion houses the world over have looked to re-appropriate scandals, use shock and apply awe in order to make their mark on the clothes-buying public. This year has been no different, and inspired by this apparent love for making people stand up and decide whether something is appropriate or not, we’ve listed five of the most eyebrow-raising controversies from recent years, so read and be prepared to feel a hint of outrage.
Urban Outfitters – Kent State University Sweatshirt
This ‘vintage’ garment went on sale in Urban Outfitters stores. The problem being that it appeared to be bloodstained, and Kent State University was the site of Vietnam War protests gone wrong when National Guardsmen shot and killed four students who were trying to speak out against the conflict. Needless to say, said sweater is no longer available.
American Apparel – Made in Bangladesh
Controversial for perhaps the right reasons, chain store American Apparel – which has never been far from a few shocks – decided to run a new ad campaign featuring a topless model from Bangladesh alongside a back story detailing where she came from. The idea being to highlight one of the biggest problems facing the fashion world right now: namely sweatshops, and the despicable conditions and pay those who work in them endure.
Tezenis – Crime Scene Pants
You may have heard the mutterings surrounding so-called anti-rape knickers that a US firm has started to produce (basically underwear that locks). However, you may have missed the fact that lingerie brand Tezenis had to remove a pair of knickers that had Crime Scene emblazoned across the crotch, due to the obvious connotations with sexual assaults, and the ensuring negative press this led to.
Zara – Nazi Prison Camp Top
A 3/4 length-sleeve top with thin blue and white stripes and a star (which could also be seen as a sheriff’s badge) in the top left hand corner saw high-street giant Zara come unstuck as a result of the fact that the garment resembled the uniforms prisoners were forced to wear after being interned by the Nazis during the Second World War, begging the question who is making these decisions?
Zara – White Is The New Black
You may, or may not, be aware of the hit US TV show Orange Is The New Black. Zara heads certainly were, and decided to cash in on the phenomenon by printing ‘White Is The New Black’, in bold black text, on a white t-shirt. Needless to say, most people took it as an awful display of racism on the part of the company. A definite no-no.