Fashion Label's "Repulsive" Designs Slammed Online
Fashion label Bstroy is being heavily criticised following the release of a collection that references mass school shootings in the US.
Debuting at New York Fashion Week, the collection includes the names and/or logos of US schools targeted by mass shootings on jumpers. At least two of the jumpers have holes; believed to reference bullets.
Other models walked with fake bloodied bullet wounds which, warning alert, are quite confronting.
Social media users were quick to express their disgust for the collection, calling it "repulsive" and "disrespectful".
Comments on the jumpers - with logos from Columbine, Stoneman Douglas, Virginia Tech, and Sandy Hook - included:
"Wtf is wrong with you," "poorly executed hipster marketing," and "You should feel ashamed of yourselves to actually think this is fashion literally this is so disgusting and disrespectful."
Some users even explained that they or someone they knew lived through the tragedies:
"I lived through this... to make money off of something pathetic like this is disgusting.. you don’t even know how it is to live everyday with reminders everywhere you go.. there’s so much trauma with no only myself but with thousands of other people who have experienced gun violence... this is disgusting," one Instagram user wrote.
Another added: "As a Sandy Hook family, what you are doing here is absolutely disgusting, hurtful, wrong and disrespectful. You’ll never know what our family went through after Vicki died protecting her students. Our pain is not to be used for your fashion."
A fashion writer named Katie Wilkes also threw her two cents in to explain the lack of nuance and thought behind the attempt at commentary:
"There are so many ways to use fashion and clothing to make sociopolitical commentary—this isn’t it," she wrote, commenting on the Sandy Hook jumper.
"How do you think the parents who saw their children’s clothing with bullet holes through them feel seeing this? Comforted? Empowered?... Being “edgy”, “turning up the heat”, or “starting a conversation” are also things you can leave un-checked on your list of KPI’s.
There is nothing “painfully ironic” about this, or the slew of other hoodies you designed with the same lackluster [sic] train of thought in mind.... And one last thing...what percentage of your profits from this collection went to victims or gun control efforts? My bet is little to none."
Following the backlash, one of the brand's founders, Duey Catorze, told Insider the brand "wanted to make reference to the victims with reverence," and tell a story "that depicts them as heroes."
"At Bstroy, we have always used our platform to shed light and begin conversations on overlooked issues from reality," he continued.
"Our premiere show was in Atlanta's subway to highlight the purposeful under management of the public transportation system to contain the poor there. Channel 2 news covered it and there's been notable change."
"We wanted to make a comment on gun violence and the type of gun violence that needs preventative attention and what its origins are, while also empowering the survivors of tragedy through storytelling in the clothes," he continued, adding that he believes the brand's clothing has been overlooked by people who "want to release hateful energy."
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Image: Instagram / Bstory