Urban Outfitters Just Hit a New Low by Selling Bloody Kent State Sweatshirt

One-off product pops up on eBay

Filed under: The most WTF thing we've seen in months.

Urban Outfitters, purveyor of clothing and home goods, big-ass floppy hats and occasionally offensive T-shirts, has outdone itself with this product on its website—a "vintage" Kent State University sweatshirt featuring fake blood splatters.

In 1970, the Ohio National Guard fired on a group of unarmed anti-war student protesters at Kent State, killing four and wounding nine others.

The sweatshirt sold out quickly, because there was only one. ("We only have one, so get it or regret it!" said the description.) Now it's listed on eBay by someone who says he/she will "give 50% of the profit to the Southern Poverty Law Center, who protect those who cannot protect themselves, often those who are victims of police brutality."

If this is an elaborate PR play from a desperate brand, as it would seem, it's a pathetic one. With Twitter and Facebook teeming with Rage Against the Urban Outfitters, I'm guessing throngs of people are going to buy their big-ass floppy hats elsewhere.

Via BuzzFeed.

UPDATE: The brand has now apologized, claiming the shirt isn't a refererence to the 1970 shootings, but is just "part of our sun-faded vintage collection." Here is the full apology:

Urban Outfitters sincerely apologizes for any offense our Vintage Kent State Sweatshirt may have caused. 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 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. Again, we deeply regret that this item was perceived negatively and we have removed it immediately from our website to avoid further upset.

Roo Powell is freelance contributor to Adweek.