Urban Outfitters Makes a Bloody Mistake

Kent State Sweatshirt Life magazine cover Tragedy At Kent State

Long before the tragedies of Sandy Hook, Virginia tech and Ferguson created public outrage, the country was reeling by the senseless and brutal murders at point-blank range that took place at Kent State, when National Guardsmen leveled their guns and aimed and fired into the crowd of students. (L) Urban Outfitters tasteless vintage Kent State Sweatshirt 2014 (R) Life magazine May 15, 1970 Tragedy at Kent State

File this under bad taste.

If one is to believe Urban Outfitters, famous for their controversial items, nothing says vintage-fun like a blood spattered Kent State sweatshirt; a nostalgic reminder of those crazy collegiate antics of the 1970s.

The hip retailer has come under fire for yet another tasteless item, this time taking a cheap shot at the Kent State shootings tragedy.

Tragedy For Sale

Urban Outfitters Kent State Sweatshirt and 4 Dead in Ohio

Four Dead in Ohio (L-R clockwise) Jeffrey Glenn Miller, Allison Krause Sandra Lee Scheuer and Bill Schroeder students killed at Kent State University 1970 (L) According to Urban Outfitters website the sweatshirt featuring what looks like blood stains and holes is ” washed soft and perfectly broken in.” Perfectly tasteless is more apt.

Did Urban Outfitters intend to take you back to that tragic day in May of 1970 when Ohio National Guard opened fire on a crowd of unarmed students during a Vietnam War Protest at Kent State University in Ohio, killing 4 students and wounding 11 others? It’s hard to imagine otherwise.

To add insult to injury nostalgia doesn’t come cheap

“Get it or regret it,” read the description for the faux vintage sweatshirt retailing at $129. The controversial  item immediately  sold out before it was removed from their website.

Sad thing is, some are actually making a killing selling the items on eBay for jacked up price of $550.

Kent State Shooting Urban Outfitter Apology

Urban Outfitters has apologized never intending to allude to the tragic events of 1970 Kent State. (R) The tragedy at Kent State

Though the company has put the kibosh on the item taking it down from their site, the bad taste lingers.

 Kent State Remembered

pictures of Kent State 1970 Urban outfitter controversial sweatshirt

Life Magazine reported the tragedy in its May 15, 1970 issue. “Shouting ‘Pigs off Campus’ at the guards some of the students, perhaps no more than 20, lobbed stones at the guardsmen who responded with tear gas. As students taunted them with jeers and banners and hurled back tear gas cans at the National Guard, the troops yelled to regroup and took aim.Confronted by a skirmish of several hundred students they regrouped and opened fire.” “One fusillade of high velocity .30 06 slugs and a clipful of .45s all steel jacketed in accord with the articles of war, left 4 students dead and 11 wounded. The leader of the Guardsmen said his men fired in self-defense, fearing for their lives.”


Another stain on the questionable taste of Urban Outfitters.


© Sally Edelstein and Envisioning The American Dream, 2014. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Sally Edelstein and Envisioning The American Dream with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.


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One comment

  1. sdaven5191

    Never felt the need before to deal with them. Now I KNOW I won’t ever. Anyone who would make a profit on such a tragedy in such a tasteless, heinous manner deserves to go out of business. Saying “Shame on Them” seems such a weak, useless phrase under the circumstances, but the shame indeed belongs to whomever thought of such a horrid item to sell to the public. The same goes to anyone who bought one, no matter what the reason. They just contributed to that awful reminder of a society gone mindless with fear.


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