That looks like a hip hat — flat brim, catchy font, matching shirt. The cool kids will dig it, right? The fashion moguls at Impact Reduction Apparel thought so.
I-R-A may not be familiar to the common branding expert, but according to history it already belongs to a remote faction in Europe known as the Irish Republican Army. They were founded in 1921 to halt British rule via assassination, bombings, and rioting.
It’s hard out there for a skateboarder.
According to the Daily Mail (UK), the small company based in San Francisco may need to hire a crisis communications expert to explain why that name inspired the tweet “Any plans to sell bomber jackets?”
The tiny company was launched in September last year when it declared itself: ‘The name that will change the game.’
The ballyhoo can be summarized with this tweet:
@IRA_Apparel but seriously, this is as offensive as me making a company and naming it KKK or ISIS even if it isn’t intended.
— TehTechGuy1 (@TehTechGuy1) January 2, 2015
Up until now, the company hasn’t had to worry about the terrorism connection, but now that it’s gone viral the CEO is reduced to issuing statements like this one:
Impact Reduction Apparel is who we are. We have no affiliation with ANY terror groups.
— IRA Apparel (@IRA_Apparel) January 1, 2015
It’s one thing when a terrorist group swipes your anagram. It’s another when the group beat you to it by nearly 100 years.