Skate Brand IRA Forced to Explain Itself

IRA clothing

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:

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:

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.