Monday morning shocker: Hipster retailer Urban Outfitters is causing trouble again. The company apologized on Sunday for selling a cropped T-shirt emblazoned with the words "Depression," and pulled the item from its website, after complaints that the shirt glamourized mental illness.
The shirt, created by a Singaporean brand called "Depression," had been quietly selling for a while, but when it was marked down to $9.99 from $59, it somehow caught public attention. The shirt's tagline read, "Super depressing tee from Depression topped with an allover logo graphic."
Twitter users swooped in, calling the brand "disgusting" and "inconsiderate," prompting Urban Outfitters to issue the mea culpa. The news comes off the heels of the company's latest PR disaster. In December, UO angered the Hindu community when it sold a pair of $8 red socks featuring the Hindu deity Ganesh. After the President of the Universal Society of Hinduism released a statement reading, "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," Urban Outfitters pulled the socks from its website. And in May, the company's line of shot glasses, flasks, and pint glasses resembling prescription pill bottles was deemed "repulsive" by Kentucky lawmakers, who strong armed the company into discontinuing the items. And let's not forget the company's cringe-worthy "Eat Less" tween T-shirt line that prompted a mass boycott of the store (including a reprimanding from actress Sophia Bush), resulting in the company halting production of the shirt.
Given Urban Outfitters admitted on a November earnings call that the brand has suffered from "missed fashion calls, off-pitch marketing, and poor creative execution," isn't it time for the brand to learn its lesson? Please?