The shirt, created by a Singaporean brand called "Depression," had been quietly selling for a while, but it caught public attention when it was marked down to $9.99 from $59. The shirt's tagline read, "Super depressing tee from Depression topped with an allover logo graphic." Twitter users swooped in, calling the brand "disgusting" and "inconsiderate."
The news comes on the heels of the company's latest PR disaster. In December, it angered the Hindu community when it sold a pair of $8 red socks featuring the Hindu deity Ganesh. Urban Outfitters pulled the socks from its website after the President of the Universal Society of Hinduism released a statement reading, "Lord Ganesh was highly revered in Hinduism and was meant to be worshipped in temples or home shrines and not to be wrapped around one's foot." In May, its line of shot glasses, flasks, and pint glasses resembling prescription pill bottles was deemed "repulsive" by Kentucky lawmakers, who strong-armed the company into discontinuing the items. And let's not forget the company's cringe-worthy "Eat Less" tween T-shirt line that prompted a mass boycott of the store (including a reprimanding from actress Sophia Bush).
Given Urban Outfitters admitted on a November earnings call that the brand has suffered from "missed fashion calls, off-pitch marketing, and poor creative execution," isn't it time for the brand to learn its lesson?