Urban Outfitters Faces Controversy

By: Liz O’Malley

Lately, I’ve been noticing Urban Outfitters


in the news in a less than positive way. While the popular “hipster” store has always prided themselves on being cutting edge, it seems that they have finally crossed the line.

They are being sued by various cultural groups for offensive clothing. Those ironic graphic tees aren’t so funny anymore, huh Urban?

First off, Navajo Indians are suing  Urban Outfitters for using their name to describe generic tribal print apparel. (think “Navajo crop top”). The Irish community is in an uproar over St. Patrick’s Day apparel depicting their culture in its drunken stereotype (slightly true, but hey, us Irish people have a few sober days, too!). The Jewish community is rightfully appalled at a t-shirt with a star of David on the pocket, meant to represent the star worn by Jews during the Holocaust (I don’t even know what to say about this one. I’m pretty sure the Jewish community was trying to suppress this memory, they shouldn’t have to be reminded of it due to an overpriced graphic tee).

On top of it all, the owner of Urban Outfitters, Richard Hayne, contrary to literally all its customers, is an ardent conservative. He donated money (over $13,000) to Rick Santorum’s political campaign.

This blows my mind.

As someone who buys things (when the price is right) at Urban, it disgusts me to think that some of my money has gone towards supporting Rick Santorum. He is outspoken against women’s rights AND gay rights (two huge demographics of Urban customers. Also ironic because in a picture of two women kissing was recently featured in an Urban Outfitters catalogue.)

With the number of groups Urban has alienated under Hayne’s leadership, I would suggest he search for another career.


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