Urban Outfitters Accidentally (We Hope?) Channels The Holocaust

Photo: ADL.
Urban Outfitters is the latest brand to make an inadvertent Holocaust reference in one of its designs. This morning, the Anti-Defamation League released a statement asking Urban Outfitters CEO Richard A. Hayne to pull this tapestry, which is "eerily reminiscent" of the uniform gay men were forced to wear in Nazi concentration camps. 

"Whether intentional or not, this gray and white striped pattern and pink triangle combination is deeply offensive and should not be mainstreamed into popular culture, " says ADL national director, Abraham H. Foxman. "We urge Urban Outfitters to immediately remove the product eerily reminiscent of clothing forced upon the victims of the Holocaust from their stores and online." Foxman is himself a Holocaust survivor. 

An estimated 100,000 gay men were arrested in Germany between 1933 and 1945. The death rate of those sent to camps was unusually high, largely because these men were subjected to exceptional abuse — at the hands of guards and fellow prisoners alike. Many gay men were used for medical experiments and mutilation as Nazi doctors tried to find a "cure" for homosexuality. 

Of course, this is not likely an intentional reference on the part of Urban Outfitters, but it is a glaring oversight in quality control. It's not the first brand to accidentally make a holocaust reference, nor is this the first time Urban Outfitters has made a major design misstep. Regardless of intent, the best thing to do is yank the item off shelves, immediately. As of now, Urban Outfitters has released no comment and the tapestry is still available in stores.
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