Is Courting Controversy An Urban Outfitters Strategy?

Earlier this week, Gawker published an image of an invitation sent to Urban Outfitters employees, exhorting them, as the invite put it, to "break out your juttis, kurtas, turbans, saris, lehenga cholis and harem pants" for the company holiday party.


"As you can see," Gawker's Jordan Sargent wrote, "employees are being asked to dress up in some mish-mash of Orientalist signifiers so obviously offensive that two separate Urban employees forwarded the image to us this morning."


This comes barely three months after the infamous red-stained Kent State University sweatshirt that made apparent reference to the tragedy there, after which Urban Outfitters issued a sorry-not-sorry statement via Twitter and pulled the item from its website. The company soon followed with a more circumspect-sounding apology to Time that acknowledged its penchant for pushing buttons: "Given our history of controversial issues," it said, "we understand how our sincerity may be questioned."


Date added: 
Tuesday, December 16, 2014 - 9:15pm