The fashion industry is always making swift changes, whether good or bad. Some people don’t go along with the trends and some will buy outfits as soon as they’re on the racks.
Urban Outfitters, a trendy clothing store focused toward Millennials, sold a blood-stained Kent State sweatshirt in September 2014. The “Kent State Massacre” happened in the ’70s, leaving four people dead. The items generated a backlash from consumers and the chain soon withdrew the sweatshirt.
On March 16, Forever 21 made a similar mistake. Forever 21 was marketing a shirt to men that read, “Don’t say maybe if you want to say no.” The shirt has been attracting negative reactions from consumers telling the company to stop victim blaming.
Forever 21 has responded with the following statement:
“Forever 21 strives to exemplify the highest ethical standards and takes feedback and product concerns very seriously. With regards to the t-shirt in question, upon receiving feedback from our customers, we took immediate action to have it removed from our website. We sincerely apologize to anyone who was offended by the product.”
Some comments about the shirt imply that maybe some people are over-thinking the statement.
Katherine Timpf, National Review online reporter, said “For me, I think it could be useful advice to remember next time I’m asked ‘Do you want to go to brunch 100 blocks uptown?’ or ‘Do you have time to edit my thesis?’ or ‘Is it okay if we watch Gilmore Girls?’ No doubt, it would be better to just flat-out say ‘no’ rather than to give my friends false hope that I might be down to do something so awful.”
Forever 21 also earned negative response to a 2011 shirt marketed toward girls stating “Allergic to Algebra.” Many consumers and parents feared this meant that girls shouldn’t be focusing on school.
Once Forever 21 began to generate heat from their customers, they took the shirt down. Many social media users added comments such as “Clearly didn’t have a PR person in the room when they decided to sell a shirt supporting rape culture.”
Do you think people are just exaggerating? Do you think they are justified in their anger at the company? Where was the PR department when this shirt was designed?