Monday, 6 January 2014

Well done, Urban Outfitters.

This blog post goes out to Urban Outfitters. A brand absolutely dedicated to their customers and more importantly, to giving out a positive image and confidence boosting ideas to those viewing their products. A brand that is often described as "controversial" but I see as merely individual. A brand that continues to amaze me with their creative genius.

Yesterday UO came under direct fire again from my fellow fashion bloggers, teenagers and adults alike all absolutely disgusted by a certain cropped tee. I can't imagine why. This particular monochromatic fashion statement was simply covered in the word  "depression" in various font sizes. Apparently it can be seen as offensive but, being a fan of fashion myself, I am unable to see why depression can be branded as anything but a trend. So, well done Urban Outfitters, for standing up against those who think that mental illness is a serious matter. Clearly they have no style whatsoever, right?

'Super depressing tee from Depression topped with an allover logo graphic.'
I suppose that's the kind of reaction that the brand expected to encounter from their target market - young females and teenage girls like myself - with regards to the cropped "depression" t-shirt. Unfortunately for them, this is anything but the case and I hope you realise the sarcasm with which the last two paragraphs were written. To say the absolute least, along with many of my fellow fashion lovers I am completely disgusted by their allowances for such an item to make it onto their website. The fact that a mental illness could be used to sell a product and brand it essentially as a fashion statement, is beyond my comprehension.

To be fair to UO, they are not as at fault as it may first seem. The tee is actually by the brand "depression" and isn't a creation of their own. But still, from one of the highstreet giants and a brand that has been a firm favourite of mine until extremely recently (yesterday), I struggle to understand how it got through the various measures I assume are in place to avoid such incidents and somehow made it online. I also question the logic behind the brand that decided such a name would lead to any kind of popularity in sales.

I wonder whether it is the glamorisation within the media and the world of fashion of illnesses such as depression and eating disorders (Yes, we haven't forgotten about that "eat less" jumper from back in 2011, UO) that leads to a lack of belief surrounding them. It's not hard to imagine that after seeing every day products branded with these phrases, their meaning could become somewhat distorted, particularly for those less educated on the topics. Maybe they have their own part to play in the fact that people will ignore cries for help and pass them off as "attention seeking". After all, if it can be used as a fashion statement, it can't be anything too serious, right?

Urban Outfitter's t-shirt with "eat less" slogan 

Unsurprisingly the brand were faced with a justified onslaught of twitter hatred. "Disgusting", "appalling" and "disgraceful" were just a few of the censored words flying through the twitter-sphere yesterday after the top found its way to the surface of the UO website. I took comfort in the fact that I wasn't the only person who felt that the shop had not just crossed, but obliterated the line.

So, Urban Outfitters, congrats on having to pull another top for taking "controversy" a step too far. Yet again. You've now offended  Irish people thanks to your "Kiss me I'm drunk, or Irish, or whatever" top, Jewish people with help from a t-shirt with the words "everybody loves a Jewish girl" and dollar signs printed on it, African American people due to your board game "ghettopoly", anybody suffering with any form of eating disorder and those with genuine mental illnesses (who do not treat it as an accessory, by the way). 

Just a few ideas for the future: How about a t-shirt with "heart disease" printed in snazzy font on the front? Or maybe a pretty little tank top further encouraging girls that being healthy just isn't stylish enough? I'll leave those with you. 

A previous UO lover, 
Bethany Paige. 


  1. I saw this all kicking off on twitter yesterday but wasnt aware of what had happened! I think this is disgusting i dont know who on earth would come up with these ideas and not think of the implications, the t shirts are not even fashionable anyway! This has definitely put me off UO in the future! Really good post and was good to read what actually happened! xx

    1. I'm glad I could clear up what happened for you! But yes I completely agree, the designs are both offensive and just not that stylish anyway! Thank you for reading Nicole xx