Designer Faces Backlash For Creating Sweatshirts Inspired By School Shootings
Sweatshirts with the names of schools — Sandy Hook, Columbine, Virginia Tech, and Stoneman Douglas —riddled with bullet holes debuted at New York Fashion Week on September 15.
Bstroy, a men’s clothing company based in Atlanta, posted photos of their models wearing the new sweatshirts to their Instagram account. Bstroy’s co-founder Dieter Grams told NBC News that they sweatshirts were made with the intention to treat the “incidents with reverence and respect.”
Co-founder Brick Owens wrote about Bstroy’s spring line on Instagram: “Sometimes life can be painfully ironic. Like the irony of dying violently in a place you considered to be a safe, controlled environment, like school. We are reminded all the time of life’s fragility, shortness, and unpredictability, yet we are also reminded of its infinite potential. if is this push and pull that created the circular motion that is the cycle of life. Nirvana is the goal we hope to reach through meditation and healthy practices that counter our destructive habits. Samsara is the cycle we must transcend to reach Nirvana.”
In case the Columbine hoodies isn’t enough, the brand also designed two more hoodies glorifying school shootings. What a shame. pic.twitter.com/2M5fR9fNvS— Streetwear Night Live (@StreetNightLive) September 16, 2019
The designers made a statement about their new sweatshirts: “We wanted to make a comment on gun violence and the type of gun violence that needs preventative attention and what its origins are, while also empowering the survivors of tragedy through storytelling in the clothes.”
Bstroy was mentioned in a New York Times article on trendsetters in hip-hop streetwear last week. Bstroy founders told the Times, “We are making violent statements. That’s for you to know who we are, so we can have a voice in the market. But eventually that voice will say things that everyone can wear.”
As someone pointed out on Twitter, the idea is not even original. In 2014, Urban Outfitters advertised vintage Kent State sweatshirts with red blood stains, but quickly pulled them from store shelves and apologized.
What do you think of these sweatshirts?