Retailer Offends Again With Holocaust-Inspired Houseware​s

tapestry urban outfitters

It seems like certain retailers today could benefit from some intense tolerance training. Urban Outfitters, which has become known for its offensive wares (has it even been five months since it debuted its faux-blood-splattered Kent State sweatshirt?), is at it again. This time the store is offering a tapestry that the Anti-Defamation League calls "eerily reminiscent" of the uniforms gay prisoners in Nazi concentration camps were forced to wear. 


ADL National Director Abraham Foxman issued this statement:

Whether intentional or not, this gray and white stripped pattern and pink triangle combination is deeply offensive and should not be mainstreamed into popular culture.

With all the prints, patterns, and paisleys in the world to choose from, why does it seem like this retailer continually goes out of its way to design something that's guaranteed to offend? (Compare the tapestry above to the uniform below. Coincidence?)

Nazi concentration camp uniform

Or is that the company's marketing plan? Create a buzz -- whether good or bad -- then apologize and pull the offending item.

I'm all for innovation and coming up with creative ways to get your product out there, but not at the expense of others.

Urban Outfitters isn't the only brand that's testing out this strategy. Women's clothing store Zara had a runaway hit last summer with an offensive t-shirt that announced, "White is the new black." 

More from The Stir: Store Says 'Nazi Camp' T-Shirt for Kids Was an Honest Mistake

Are we supposed to believe that the designers and higher-level executives at these organizations are too young to be aware of the atrocities of the Holocaust? That seems awfully far-fetched. Or are they really that insensitive? Yeah, I think that's it. 

While I might find some of their home furnishings kitschy and fun, I prefer to spend my money at a store that's socially conscious and doesn't aim for free publicity by offending people who have already suffered and endured more than their share of tragedy. 

Do you think this was a mistake on the part of the retailer or done on purpose to get people talking? 

Images via Anti-Defamation LeagueVenisha Bahr/YouTube

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