Urban Outfitters: Same-Sex Marriage T-shirt Wasn’t Selling

Yesterday I posted about a controversy surrounding Urban Outfitters after the chain pulled a T-shirt that said “I support same-sex marriage” from the shelves. Many suspected the move was purely political, since the chain’s founder has contributed to many right-wing politicians and causes.

SupportshirtsThe company told New York‘s The Cut:

“The T-shirt was pulled because it was not selling. This is a common practice because sales space is so valuable, especially in this challenging economic climate. This is a common practice because sales space is so valuable, especially in this challenging economic climate. We wouldn’t bring back the same T-shirt because it didn’t sell well. But the head merchant is open to finding other products that support gay marriage and carry the same message but will be more popular with our customers.”

And as for the company’s politics:

“Meanwhile, the spokesperson also confirmed what our commenters speculated: Glen Senk, the CEO of the parent company, Urban Outfitters, Inc., is an openly gay man who has been in a committed relationship for over 30 years. However, Richard Hayne is still the founder and current chairman and does indeed have a record for supporting right-wing Republicans who are against abortion and gay rights.”

Previously
Urban Outfitters Billionaire a Wingnut in Progressive Clothing [tr]

Comments

  1. Bobbyjoe says

    With all the post-election “No on Prop 8″ marches going on, if the shirt wasn’t selling, one might well think it has to do with an incredibly weak marketing effort by Urban Outfitters.

    But, really, there’s a strong whiff of baloney in the air for this current explanation, isn’t there?

  2. Ken says

    Of course it’s baloney. It’s long been known that Richard Hayne is a conservative who has donated heavily to Republicans, while trying to keep that fact as quiet as possible so he can continue to sell cheap crap to the kids.

  3. g_whiz says

    I’m torn here. I admit being entirely skeptical about Urban Outfitters on the whole, but the more vocal I find I get about Proposition 8 and gay rights issues, the more silence I find I get from longtime so called friends. There are possibly a lot of people who might comprehend the issue, and generally not care because it doesn’t effect them. I’d buy the shirt in a heartbeat, and having posted about the article, got several comments in the positive about buying it too. Apathy is one thing, but this show of support is important and appreciated.

    If the “it isn’t selling” senario was true, why didn’t the company simply tell the woman that designed the t-shirt that instead of the obscure response they gave her?

  4. derrick from Philly says

    “There are possibly a lot of people who might comprehend the issue, and generally not care because it doesn’t effect them.”

    That is a very important statement, G_WHIZ. I’ve been trying to build enthusiasm and righteous support in this issue since 2004. It is incredibly selfish of those of us older gays (and maybe some younger ones too) to not feel the spirit of this “ultimate gay civil right”. We use excuse that there are more important life-n-death issues out there for marginalized gay folks, but at the heart of our apathy there is “it doesn’t affect me” selfishness.

    I’ll work on it until I get it right.

  5. aaron says

    Yes ugly is the word for that garment. I’ve had prettier bowel movements…

    excuse my tin foil hat, but is it possible that the ugliness was for the sake of pulling the shirt? probably not, but it’s the only theory that supports that “shi(r)t”…

  6. Danny says

    This is bullsh*t. I was a men’s merchant at Banana Republic corporate and pulling something off the floor (rather than just marking it down) was a very uncommon practice. Also, if the space is so valuable, there should be plenty of room for it on the urban website.

  7. MAJeff says

    “Hopefully, the shirt wasn’t selling because gay people don’t shop at Urban Outfitters.”

    Exactly. The right-wing owner and racist “ghetto-opoly” game drove me away from the place. Haven’t set foot in an Urban Outfitters in years, and won’t.

  8. g_whiz says

    Re: Derrick from Philly- Right on, man, right on. You and me both. The really difficult problem is trying to express to people what it might be like not to be able to marry the people they love, and beyond that not be able to legally and financially provide for they and whatever family might be present because of some arbitrary aspect of who they are- often becomes complicated by the religious directives and “lifestyle” choice as a concept. It really should be that simple, appealing to the idea that an infrengment of a person’s rights is a problem for everyone…but there’s some level of disconnect about it. Its something I need to think about more.

  9. says

    If we can’t come together over an expression of love what will unite us?

    As for Urban Outfitters it sounds like b.s. to me. After prop 8 passed I think the shirt would have sold, except for Hayne’s little right-wing homo hater problem.
    Shouldn’t someone ask Glen Senk for his support?
    (Glen Senk, the CEO of the parent company, Urban Outfitters, Inc., is an openly gay man who has been in a committed relationship for over 30 years.)

  10. Br!on says

    Nobody who is supporting No on Prop should be buying t-shirts at UO anyway. SO this a good thing.

    In addition to their support of ultra right wing conservatives they also have a huge history of lawsuits from young designers who have shown them their work then been summarily ripped off…

    It’s gross. Just don’t shop there or support them in any way.

  11. says

    I had no idea that U O was run by a right winger. I never shopped there because they sell “vintage T’s” which, to me, are a sign that a store has no true style. If I want that look I will by it at Target for 9.99 and wear it for a minute, not 49.99 and only wear it once because every Twink with a big belt buckle has it tucked into their True Religin jeans.

    Urban Outfitters is a stupid place to shop. Support your local “cool” store. Manufactured “hip” is lame.

  12. Hunter says

    Thanks for opening my eyes about this. Of course its a lie on thier part. Go to the New York Mag website for more details. Check out Richard Haynes’ political contributions: National Republican Congressional Committee, Arlen Specter, Rick Santorum, et al. Sure he’s free to use his profits from our purchases to pursue his political agenda – but we should know where our money – though him – goes. My days of shopping there are OVER.

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