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The 10 Most Controversial Urban Outfitters Products

Urban Outfitters confuses controversy with fashion.

A few days ago, Urban Outfitters was forced to remove a shirt from its store which had the words "Depression" written all over it. The store was accused of making light of mental illness, and shoppers were disgusted by the store's decision to carry it. As well, a couple of years ago, actress Sophia Bush began a boycott against Urban Outfitters as they tried to sell a t-shirt with the words "Eat Less" written on it. The public accused Urban Outfitters of promoting and condoning anorexia. These two incidents shocked us, so we decided to do some digging. Soon after, we realized that the sale of socially inappropriate apparel at Urban Outfitters had been a lot more then just an accident, it was a trend. Throughout the years, Urban Outfitters has been condemned on multiple occasions.

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kiss me

Kiss Me, I'm Drunk Tee

This t-shirt was removed from stores after many complained about it's derogatory text. Irish and Irish Americans were insulted that the term "Irish" was associated with the words "Drunk" and "Whatever".

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jewish

Jewish Star Tee

Back in April of 2012, Urban Outfitters was attacked for selling a t-shirt, with the star of David imprinted on the left hand side of the chest. The t-shirt's design resembles the patch which Jews were forced to wear during the Holocaust (1939-1945). The t-shirt angered the Jewish community tremendously. After multiple complaints, the t-shirt was removed from stores.

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hailey

Hailey Clauson Tee

At the age of 15, model Hailey Clauson was photographed by Jason Lee Parry. Soon after, he released this photo of the young girl to Urban Outfitters. The model's agency sent over complaints about the scandalous shot which exposed too much of Hailey's crotch. Along with her agency, Hailey Clauson sued Urban Outfitters for designing a t-shirt with her photo which supposedly ruined her reputation.

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shot

Prescription Shot Glass

In June 2013, Urban Outfitters made light of prescription medication by designing shot glasses that resembled pill bottles. The store removed the item from its shelves after receiving pressure from legislators of several states. "There’s nothing fashionable about prescription drug abuse, and selling teen-targeted items that glamorize prescription drugs is repulsive," said Governor Steve Beshear in his statement via Associated Press.

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vote

USA Drinking Team & Vote For Vodka Tees

These are some of the most popular Urban Outfitters t-shirts. Although, the tees serve to Urban's greatest demographic (18-24 year old's), Jan Withers, President of Mothers Against Drunk Driving (MADD), made a complaint of her own. "Kids shouldn't be wearing these t-shirts...Marketing [alcohol-related products] to teens is not in any way acceptable," she said. Several others have made complaints against these tees which promote underage drinking.

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eat less

Eat Less Tee

In 2010, Urban Outfitters released a t-shirt with the words "Eat Less" written across it. The store was heavily attacked for promoting anorexia and encouraging young girls to satisfy a specific body image. Back in 2010, this t-shirt created a controversial uproar. Actress Sophia Bush started a world- wide boycott against the store. Since then, the t-shirt has made history all over the internet.

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ghetto

Ghettopoly

Back in 2003, Urban Outfitters released a Monopoly knockoff titled "Ghettopoly". The game included "Hustle" playing cards and others titled "Smitty's XXX Peep Show". The game angered African- American's deeply as they felt the store was making light of their history. Philadelphia's Rev. Glenn Wilson called for a boycott and explained that "There's no way that game could be taken in any way other than that this man had racist intent in marketing it."

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hat

Irish Yoga Trucker Hat

This Irish themed trucker hat offended several Irish and Irish- Americans. Yet, the item has not been pulled from stores. Surprisingly, numerous complaints from the Irish community has not phased Urban Outfitters.

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obama

Obama/ Black Color Option

In 2010, Urban Outfitters designed a t-shirt which came in an "Obama/ Black" color option. Using Obama's name to describe the color of a black t-shirt offended many. In response to several complaints, Urban Outfitters wrote: "The burnout pattern on this shirt is comprised of two colors - one is an internally developed color we called "Obama Blue" and the other is "Black." Unfortunately our website database truncate this combination to read "Obama/Black." We should have caught the error, and apologize for offending anyone."

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ganesh

Ganesh Socks

A few weeks ago, Urban Outfitters was accused of designing a pair of socks with the image of a Hindu deity. Soon after, several complaints and accusations of racism began rolling in.  "Lord Ganesh was highly revered in Hinduism and was meant to be worshipped in temples or home shrines and not to be wrapped around one’s foot. Inappropriate usage of Hindu deities or concepts for commercial or other agenda was not okay, as it hurt the devotees," said Rajan Zed, President of Universal Hindu Society. Soon after the store sent out an apology and removed the socks from its store

What do you think of these scandals? Call these mistakes? Or do you think Urban Outfitters continues to design shameful apparel on purpose? Let us know with your comments!

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Natalie Solomon

Project Manager

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