In its latest cultural misstep, Urban Outfitters is using a white model to promote a line “inspired by Denise Huxtable.” Denise Huxtable was the glamorous older sister on The Cosby Show played by actress Lisa Bonet.
Urban promoted the line, which includes bold patterns and shouldpads, on its Facebook page.
It didn’t take long for one Urban fan to remark “couldn’t find one black model to do Denise Huxtable I guess” while another conceded that most Urban customers wouldn’t even know who Denise is.
Urban Outfitters has long been criticised for its homogeneous catalogues. In February, Cindy Augustine wrote a column for AdWeek specifically criticising the retailer for a lack of diversity.
And in the past year alone, they’ve drawn ire for the following:
–A t-shirt emblazoned with what appeared to be a Holocaust symbol.
-Slogans depicting Irish people as drunks.
-Being sued by the Navajo tribe for misusing its name in a collection (the name was eventually removed).
–Ripping off independent designers.
-Using slurs against transgendered people.
Urban’s also been on a tailspin of late, producing quarter after quarter of bad results. If these ridiculous missteps don’t stop happening, Urban could further alienate its already-fickle young customers.
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