Got a Roku, Apple TV, Amazon Fire TV or Android TV? Get PIX11 content there now!

Kent State responds to Urban Outfitters ‘vintage’ red-stained sweatshirt

This is an archived article and the information in the article may be outdated. Please look at the time stamp on the story to see when it was last updated.

KENT, Ohio (PIX11) - Kent State University blasted Urban Outfitters Monday for selling a "vintage" red-stained sweatshirt made with several small holes in the chest.

The sweatshirt -- offered only in red, for $129 -- triggered painful memories for a school that was the scene of a bloody clash between Vietnam War protesters and the National Guard. Four people were killed in May of 1970.

Urban Outfitters has apologized for this "vintage" Kent State sweatshirt. (Urban Outfitters website)

Urban Outfitters has apologized for this "vintage" Kent State sweatshirt. (Urban Outfitters website)

The university released the following statement on the school website Monday:

"May 4, 1970, was a watershed moment for the country and especially the Kent State family. We lost four students that day while nine others were wounded and countless others were changed forever.

We take great offense to a company using our pain for their publicity and profit. This item is beyond poor taste and trivializes a loss of life that still hurts the Kent State community today.

We invite the leaders of this company as well as anyone who invested in this item to tour our May 4 Visitors Center, which opened two years ago, to gain perspective on what happened 44 years ago and apply its meaning to the future."

Urban Outfitters stopped selling the sweatshirt online, and claims it the retailer never meant to allude to the violence at the university.

It was the second major retailer in less than a month to pull an item after causing an outrage -- at the end of August Zara apologized for a children's shirt that was reminiscent of a Nazi concentration camp uniform.

(Urban Outfitters website)

(Urban Outfitters website)

"The one-of-a-kind item was purchased as part of our sun-faded vintage collection," according to a statement by Urban Outfitters.  "There is no blood on this shirt nor has this item been altered in any way. The red stains are discoloration from the original shade of the shirt and the holes are from natural wear and fray."

The sweatshirt does, however, have several concentrated spots of dark red that appear quite similar to blood spatter.

On it's website Urban Outfitters describes it as:

"Washed soft and perfectly broken in, this vintage Kent State sweatshirt is cut in a loose, slouchy fit.  Excellent vintage condition.  We only have one so get it or regret it!"

Read the full statement from Urban Outfitters below:

"Urban Outfitters sincerely apologizes for any offense our Vintage Kent State Sweatshirt may have caused. It was never our intention to allude to the tragic events that took place at Kent State in 1970 and we are extremely saddened that this item was perceived as such. The one-of-a-kind item was purchased as part of our sun-faded vintage collection. There is no blood on this shirt nor has this item been altered in any way. The red stains are discoloration from the original shade of the shirt and the holes are from natural wear and fray. Again, we deeply regret that this item was perceived negatively and we have removed it immediately from our website to avoid further upset."

1 Comment

Comments are closed.