Kent State Blasts Urban Outfitters' 'Blood-Spattered' Shirt

Retailer 'extremely saddened' everyone misunderstood its 'vintage' top
By Evann Gastaldo,  Newser Staff
Posted Sep 15, 2014 8:58 AM CDT
Updated Sep 15, 2014 10:59 AM CDT
Urban Outfitters Hawking $129 'Blood-Spattered' Kent State Shirt
Pedestrains walks past Urban Outfitters Friday, Oct. 14, 2011 in Tempe, Ariz.   (AP Photo/Matt York)

Urban Outfitters' latest Very Bad Idea: Selling a "vintage" Kent State University sweatshirt with what appears to be fake blood spattered all over it, Gawker reports. The sweatshirt, which People calls "faux-vintage," seems to be referencing the fatal 1970 shootings of four unarmed students during a Vietnam War protest. Apparently the retailer had only one to sell, and it's now sold out; the sweatshirt then appeared on eBay with a starting bid of $550, but that auction ended with no bids. According to a screenshot from BuzzFeed, Urban Outfitters seemed to be hawking the $129 sweatshirt as an actual vintage piece; the description included the line, "Vintage Finds are handpicked vintage pieces from allover [sic] the map," though the description didn't appear to say anything about blood, real or fake.

Kent State condemned the retailer's move, Fox News reports, saying in a statement: "We take great offense to a company using our pain for their publicity and profit. This item is beyond poor taste and trivializes a loss of life that still hurts the Kent State community today." Urban Outfitters then apologized in a statement, in which the retailer claimed to have removed the shirt from its website, as opposed to having actually sold the shirt. "It was never our intention to allude to the tragic events that took place at Kent State in 1970 and we are extremely saddened that this item was perceived as such," the statement reads. "The one-of-a-kind item was purchased as part of our sun-faded vintage collection. There is no blood on this shirt nor has this item been altered in any way. The red stains are discoloration from the original shade of the shirt and the holes are from natural wear and fray." (Urban Outfitters has also come under fire for selling an "Eat Less" T-shirt and a "vulgar" Navajo collection.)

Get the news faster.
Tap to install our app.
Install the Newser News app
in two easy steps:
1. Tap in your navigation bar.
2. Tap to Add to Home Screen.