As times change, so do the trends. New styles like hair ribbons and denim-on-denim have come back in style and have made a huge impact in the fashion industry. As many companies are trying to come up with new ideas, some are a hit … others are a miss. Not only have some new fashion ideas missed the point completely, but they have caused major debate and upset in many communities.
During their spring/summer 2020 fashion week show in New York City, a menswear brand named Bstroy showcased a new line of sweatshirts. The sweatshirts feature “bullet holes” and the names of places where school shootings have occurred, including Sandy Hook, Columbine, Stoneman Douglas and Virginia Tech. Responses to these sweatshirts were extremely negative and caused a lot of people to post online, sharing their anger toward this brand and its newly released pieces. It was reported in multiple news outlets that members of victims of school shootings felt uneasy about the idea of these sweatshirts being considered fashionable. Many people questioned Bstroy’s marketing skills and ability and their purpose in creating these pieces that have caused so much upset.
Brick Owens, the owner of Bstroy brand, responded to a lot of these posts and comments by saying,
Sometimes life can be painfully ironic. Like the irony of dying violently in a place you considered to be a safe, controlled environment, like school. We are reminded all the time of life’s fragility, shortness, and unpredictability yet we are also reminded of its infinite potential.
Many people have been impacted by tragic events like the shootings at Sandy Hook and Virginia Tech. Pam Vagnini, a resident of Southbury, Connecticut — a town that neighbors Sandy Hook — reacted to these sweatshirts saying, “It is absolutely awful. People lived through these events, and many innocent lives were lost to these events. This company is using their brand to profit off of these tragic events, and that is not how the fashion industry should be run.”
“The fact that a designer would seek to profit by glamorizing the school violence that killed our children, Dylan and Daniel, and the deaths of so many more, is repugnant and deeply upsetting,” said Nicole Hockley and Mark Barden, co-founders and managing directors of Sandy Hook Promise. “This is not about inspiring change to prevent these acts of violence, nor is it a difference of politics or opinion; it is human decency to immediately halt the production of these items and apologize,” they stated in an NBC Connecticut article.