12 Screwups That Made People Hate Urban Outfitters

urban outfitters white model

Photo: Facebook

Urban Outfitters has had more controversies than any modern retailer (with the possible exception of American Apparel).It’s possible that the uproar is intentional and that the company is trying to project a hip, rebellious image. 

Some of the company’s controversial moments have gone beyond edgy social commentary, and into offensive territory. 

From racist board games and T-shirts, to potentially exploiting a 15-year-old model, Urban has had to do damage control more than a few times. 

There have also been accusations of design plagiarism. And one celebrity spoke out against Urban for being bigoted. 

The parents of teen fashion model Hailey Clauson sued Urban Outfitters, as well as photographer Jason Lee Parry, over a 'blatantly salacious' T-shirt that featured their daughter. The case is still in litigation.

Urban's retailing of the classic board game was incredibly insensitive and mocked leaders like Martin Luther King Jr. and Malcolm X by intentionally misspelling their names.

The game had 'playas' acting like pimps and game cards reading, 'You got yo whole neighbourhood addicted to crack. Collect $50.' Black leaders were enraged and Urban pulled the game off the market.

Advertising booze-themed shirts to kids.

Urban released a T-shirt line with slogans like 'I Drink You're Cute' and 'Misery Loves Alcohol.'

Mothers Against Drunk Driving told the New York Daily News that the shirts sent the wrong message about alcohol.

Selling shirts mocking the Irish for St. Patrick's Day.

Urban sold Irish-themed products for St. Patrick's Day that feature jokes about Irish drunkenness.

The largest Irish-American organisation in the U.S. lashed out at Urban Outfitters, and threatened to organise a boycott if the items weren't pulled. Things eventually blew over.

The collection included flasks and underwear.

A Native-American consumer posted an open letter to Urban Outfitters, saying that its 'Navajo'-themed items are not only racist, but violate federal law. Urban renamed the line.

Using a white model to advertise its Cosby line.

Urban used this model for a line 'inspired by Denise Huxtable.' She's the glamorous older sister on The Cosby Show played by actress Lisa Bonet.

It didn't take long for one Urban fan to remark, 'couldn't find one black model to do Denise Huxtable I guess.'

The Anti-Defamation League of Philadelphia freaked out over the shirt's design, which was said to be similar to patches the Jews were forced to wear during the Holocaust.

Releasing jewelry that was too similar to an independent artists' line.

Stevie Koerner, a jewelry artist, accused Urban Outfitters of plagiarizing her designs.

The line in question was a series of necklaces featuring states and hearts. As far as we know, Urban continued selling the necklaces.

Donating to Rick Santorum and making Miley Cyrus angry.

Miley Cyrus got involved, tweeting to her millions of followers.

The pop star slammed the senator -- and campaign contributor Urban Outfitters -- over Santorum's stance on gay marriage.

A New Jersey mum was horrified after she discovered the shirt on the website where her young daughter shopped. Urban never publicly acknowledged it, but eventually removed the items.

The other colour was 'White/Charcoal.' Urban Outfitters apologized, saying that they had a colour called 'Obama Blue' and the title was a mistake.

Pulling shirts in defence of gay marriage in California right after Prop 8.

Urban pulled a line of shirts that said 'I Support Same Sex Marriage' after Proposition 8 repealed the right of gay couples to marry in the state. Critics said that Richard Hayne, CEO, imposed his right-wing beliefs on the company.

You've seen Urban Outfitters' controversies ...

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