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.
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.
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.
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.
Urban pulled a line of shirts that said 'I Support Same Sex Marriage' after Proposition 8 repealed the right of gay couples to marry in the state.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.
NOW WATCH: Briefing videos
Business Insider Emails & Alerts
Site highlights each day to your inbox.