Urban Outfitters' "blood-spattered" Kent State sweatshirt condemned by university



Hey, this is a big country. Room enough for any number of things in bad taste. And who am I to judge?

But $129? Holy crap!


Did it come with a pamphlet or a dvd or a thumb drive or a hyperlink explaining the historical significance to the suckers, I mean customers, who would shell out 129 for that?

seems like much of their clientele would probably just think its a zombie thing otherwise…


I think it’s a matter of context.

$129 at Urban Outfitters isn’t a great context, but what if they were $40 from an anarchist bookstore?


That’d be cool.

Is it raising awareness or cashing in? Is there something like Poe’s Law to cover this?

Not to be a buzzkill but that looks like a faded sweatshirt with rips that have been repaired with redder thread that didn’t fade. No bloodstains, no bulletholes.

Oh, it is surely a zombie thing. Just not the Hollywood sort.

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I don’t think anyone is contending that it is an -actual- vintage blood-stained sweatshirt from Kent State.


Now I’m wondering if Rob put bloodsplattered in quotation marks before or after you comment appeared.

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Did it also work for the people selling the yellow star ghetto / concentration camp shirts? (Getting the publicities, that is.)


what finger does this look like to you? Is it, in -your opinion-, the same one you’re showing to us??


…but they go so well with these: http://boingboing.net/2014/08/27/327453.html.

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As outrageous and indefensible as this may be, the clarification needs to be made that this is a single unique shirt sold as a one-of-a-kind vintage item, not something that is being mass-produced and offered for sale by the thousands. As seen in one of the screenshots:

About Vintage Finds

  • Vintage Finds are handpicked vintage pieces from allover the map
  • We find the best stuff out there just for you
  • Each piece is unique - we only have one available and it can only be purchased by a single customer

So, yes, it’s disturbing, insensitive and offensive, but it’s not a mass-produced in-stock item they’re offering to sell en masse.

No one is trying to make out they are original bloodstained sweaters, but they are certainly assuming that UO made the decision to stock them because they look like bulletholes and bloodstains.

To my eye it’s a tragic cock up. They ordered faded, artificially aged garments to try and make them look “authentic”. Like you actually have one of the sweatshirts from back when. Unfortunately they started red. The outer layers faded to white/pink, and the artificially worn patches came out blood red, the original garment’s colour.

I don’t think there’s any malice here, just maybe some lack of foresight, and of historical events. I bet those sweatshirts are available in various colours, faded blue with bright blue “bullet holes and blood”, green, yellow - just happens faded worn red shirts look like blood. Whood’ve thunk it?

Urban Outfitters is run by an anti-gay boob who wanted Rick Santorum as our president, repeatedly steals ideas from independent artists and mass produces them without compensation, made “Auschwitz Chic” t-shirts, made Navajo -themed clothing they suggested were made my actual Native Americans (but obviously weren’t), sold a black-themed Monopoly game called Ghettopoly and now has demeaned the lives of those killed by our own troops. What’s surprising is the mindless sheep that continue to shop here.


If you don’t see malice here, you don’t know anything about the history of this company.

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The quotes have been there since the article was published. The text of the article (i.e. with the word “fake”) has not been edited, either.

EDIT: I’ve fleshed out the one-paragraph post with a lot more stuff now, including links to UO’s many prior arts.


And you’re quite right, I certainly don’t (know the history of this company).

It’s just that as a garment, I can see how the production techniques used would result in an item that looks exactly like what everyone is yelling about.

If they’re known to push out horrifyingly bad taste clothing in an attempt to cash in on some sort of zeitgeist, then fair play, I take it back.