“So glad my brother being shot in the head at Columbine inspired your super edgy hoodies”
Fashion is something that many of us will never understand. Fashion designers often go to extremes to make statements and grab attention on the runway, making us all wonder: what were they thinking? However, this week, two American fashion designers really crossed a line at New York Fashion Week, when, in the midst of a year filled with back-t0-back shootings and gun violence, they sent models down the runway wearing hoodie sweatshirt inspired by actual school shootings — complete with bullet holes in them.
Bstroy’s spring/summer 2020 collection, designed by Brick Owens and Duey Catorze, hit the runway of New York Fashion Week over the weekend. In addition to khakis and coats it included sweatshirts with the words “Stoneman Douglas,” “Sandy Hook,” “Virginia Tech,” and “Columbine,” all sites of four of the deadliest and most tragic school shootings this country has ever seen.
The brand shared images from the show on social media, and each was so incredibly offensive.
Owens himself shared a really shocking handout from the show. It read, “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.”
The brand was swiftly slammed for exploiting the tragic shootings to sell a few sweatshirts, with many questioning how a living, breathing human could actually come up with this fashion “concept” and consider it a good idea.
On Twitter, a spokesperson for the Vicky Soto Memorial Fund, established in honor of teacher Victoria Soto was lost her life at Sandy Hook Elementary School, posted, “This is just absolutely horrific. A company is make light of our pain and other’s pain for fashion. Selling sweatshirts with our name and bullet holes. Unbelievable.”
However, it was the comments from a few actual survivors and family members of those who lost lives in the school shootings that pointed out just how messed up their whole fashion statement really was.
“As a victim of Columbine, I am appalled,” wrote one. “This is disgusting. You can draw awareness another way but don’t you dare make money off of our tragedy.”
Seriously, can you imagine surviving a school shooting — or losing a loved one in one — only to be walking down the street to see some idiot wearing a hoodie advertising it like it was a Hard Rock Cafe? It’s absolutely mind-boggling that anyone would want to profit off the pain of others this way, and even more perplexing that all the other people involved in producing the shirts and the fashion show didn’t stop them.