Urban Outfitters has always got something...
'different' to offer, but this new Justin Bieber ‘Purpose Tour’ collection seems like a safe business option. The merchandise is exclusive and price competitive, with everything costing less than £100.
The collection includes five menswear pieces: a hoodie, short-sleeve tee, long-sleeve tee, baseball cap and coach’s jacket.
To promote and celebrate the launch of the collection, 'UO' has been hosting events in London, New York and Los Angeles.
The collection was made available in all Urban Outfitters stores on August 5th and was made available online today.
However, as the collection is launched, bringing UO back in to the spotlight means their bad reputation resurfacing too.
'The Week' recently updated their '15 Urban Outfitters controversies' article, which includes the times they stocked:
A "vintage," faux-bloodstained Kent State Sweatshirt
In September 2014, Urban Outfitters was charged with exploring "the outer reaches of bad taste" after selling what seemed to be a faux blood-spattered "Vintage Kent State Sweatshirt" for $129. The sweatshirt was widely interpreted as a reference to 1970's Kent State massacre, in which four unarmed students were shot and killed by the Ohio National Guard during a Vietnam War protest. As part of Urban Outfitters' "Vintage Finds," only a single sweatshirt was available; shortly after BuzzFeed wrote about the sweatshirt, someone purchased it and listed it on eBay for $550, with a $2,500 Buy It Now price. "It was never our intention to allude to the tragic events that took place at Kent State in 1970," said Urban Outfitters in a statement, "and we are extremely saddened that this item was perceived as such."
The "Eat Less" T-shirt
The next group Urban Outfitters offended was... well, anyone who thinks it's a bad idea to sell a V-neck T-shirt with the words "Eat Less" on it, displayed on a "rail-thin brunette model in a hiked-up miniskirt," said Ryan Halliday at FOX Boston. There were enough of those people that, after a backlash, the shirt was pulled from Urban Outfitters' website in June 2010. But not its stores, said Amy Odell in New York. But hey, at least it's not as blatant as the shirt sold elsewhere displaying Kate Moss' old slogan, "Nothing tastes as good as skinny feels."
The "Victimized" armed Palestinian T-shirt
A shirt with a Palestinian youth carrying an AK-47 assault rifle over the word "Victimized" riled up the Jewish community in 2008. "Of course this T-shirt is supporting terrorism," said fashion designer Leah Weiss, quoted in Haaretz. "I will never shop there again." Urban Outfitters pulled the shirt, but it already had a rocky relationship with Jews after selling a 2004 T-shirt with the words "Everybody Loves a Jewish Girl" surrounded by dollar signs and shopping bags. "If Urban Outfitters is good at something, it is getting publicity," said Ami Cohen, an American Apparel employee in Tel Aviv. "This company has a history of coming into conflict with Jews."
And if that isn't enough to remind you of the brands history, lets go over the basics:
Urban Outfitters is owned by URBN, who also owns Anthropologie, and Free People.
There is no available information on:
How many people the brand employ in their supply chain
The number of garments made annually
How long their products are designed to last
The impact of their supply chain
Positive moves they are taking to improve their ethics
But not to worry, UO took a political stand by selling these Trump t-shirts, which of course, can't be knocked.
Urban Outfitters also sold "Hillary Runnin' Thangs Tour 2016" and "Feel the Bern,".
Hold on, aren't UO also homophobic? Ah yes, the HuffPost Show mentioned that Urban Outfitters President and CEO Richard Hayne "has given over $14,000 to noted homophobe Rick Santorum." (more facts here)
So it can be argued that actually, Urban Outfitters actually wants any and all press, regardless of who they offend, it seems to be their marketing strategy. That or they just have an awful, lazy, inconsiderate product selection process?
But, make your own decisions, The Urban Outfitters Urban Renewal Collection does use recycled fabrics, deadstock fabrics, vintage, organic cotton... apparently.