Urban Outfitters has pulled a new T-shirt from its shelves after consumers noticed its relation to the Holocaust. The shirt's designer denies that there is any resemblance between the two, but critics and religious groups say otherwise.
The shirt is yellow and features a six-sided Star of David. During the Holocaust, Jews were given yellow stars to wear. They were meant to be clear symbols and identification for the Gestapo during round-ups and imprisonment. Yet designer Brian Jensen, co-founder of the Denmark-based Wood Wood company does not see any relation between his design and those of the Holocaust.
"First of all, the graphic is not the Star of David, and I can assure you that this is in no way a reference to Judaism, Nazism, or the Holocaust," Jensen said in an email. "The graphic came from working with patchwork and geometric patterns for our spring/summer collection 'State of Mind.'"
"I assume the image people have reacted to come(s) from Urban Outfitters' web site. This must be a photograph of an early sample, which is of course an error. I am sorry if anyone was offended seeing the shirt, it was of course our intention to hurt any feelings with this," Jensen concluded.
However, Urban Outfitters has responded promptly to complaints and has pulled the shirt from its stores. Several groups, including the Anti-Defamation League, have issued statements condemning the T-shirt as well as the designer.
"We find this use of symbolism to be extremely distasteful and offensive, and we are outraged that your company would make this product available to your customers," Barry Morrison, regional director of the Anti-Defamation League wrote in a letter to Urban Outfitters.
At least one Urban Outfitters customer has canceled her order after seeing the shirt online. "I've never been so disgusted by anything," tweeted Caysee Kamenetsky.