We've certainly seen some questionable fashion trends emerge over the years, but there's a big difference between "not my style" and "in completely poor taste." Fashion label Bstroy made the news recently after debuting their Spring 2020 collection, titled, “Samsara,” during New York Fashion Week. The label, which calls themselves a "Neo-Native Menswear Design House" has angered many for featuring a line of hoodies emblazoned with the names of different schools that had suffered from mass school shootings including Columbine, Sandy Hook, Stoneman Douglas, and Virginia Tech.
While there has been mass outrage to the hoodies that are seeming to capitalize on some of the worst moments in United States history, those who have been directly affected by school gun violence are also speaking out.
Fred Guttenberg lost his daughter Jamie Guttenberg in the Parkland school shooting and has stated that he is " so upset" about these hoodies. Guttenberg took to Twitter to express his outrage at the fashion line writing, "Under what scenario could somebody think this was a good idea? This has me so upset. If any of my followers no anybody involved with this clothing line, please ask them to stop it immediately."
Under what scenario could somebody think this was a good idea? This has me so upset. If any of my followers no anybody involved with this clothing line, please ask them to stop it immediately.https://t.co/VzAlog0TCt— Fred Guttenberg (@fred_guttenberg) September 17, 2019
The hoodies also feature holes throughout that may assume are meant to act as bullet holes, further engaging those who think the line is exploitative and disrespectful.
Designer Brick Owens, who co-founded the fashion label, has remained mostly mum on the criticism but did post a statement on his Instagram that read, "Sometimes life can be painfully ironic,” the statement reads. “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."
Guttenberg isn't the only family member of a victim to speak out. Kyle Kashuv, who was a survivor of the Stoneman Douglas shooting commented that the line was "disgusting." The Vicki Soto Memorial Fund account, created in memory of Sandy Hook teacher Vicki Soto who was killed in that school shooting, also commented writing; "As a Sandy Hook family, what you are doing here is absolutely disgusting, hurtful, wrong and disrespectful. You’ll never know what our family went through after Vicki died protecting her students. Our pain is not to be used for your fashion."
Although Owens has yet to publicly comment on the outrage about his line, he does seem to be enjoying the publicity it has generated. When one commenter tweeted, "Reading the comments on the bstroy show are almost better than the clothes," his only response was, "Almost!"