Streetwear brand Bstroy is getting heat from school shooting survivors and gun control advocates to stop producing a line of clothes featuring sweatshirts with names of schools that have had mass shootings–complete with bullet holes.=
The sweatshirts reference shootings at Columbine High School, where 13 people were killed in 1999; Virginia Tech, where 32 people were killed in 2007; Sandy Hook Elementary School, where 26 people were killed in 2012; and Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School, where 17 people were killed in 2018.
The brand started getting negative attention on Sunday when the co-founder posted photos of the clothes on Instagram. It didn’t go over well.
“Under what scenario could somebody think this was a good idea?” tweeted Fred Guttenberg, whose daughter died in the Stoneman Douglas shooting. “This has me so upset.”
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 aunt of another student who died in the Parkland, Fla., shooting told Bstroy, “You should be ashamed of taking advantage of her death to make” money.
“My 14 year old fashionista niece was murdered in Parkland. She was a professional illustrator and aspired to be clothing designer like you. You should be ashamed of taking advantage of her death to make. Today, I proudly wear her designs,” she wrote on Twitter.
But the brand is not stepping down.
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“We are making violent statements,” Grams, who publicly goes by Du, told the New York Times in a feature last week. “That’s for you to know who we are, so we can have a voice in the market. But eventually that voice will say things that everyone can wear.”
The brand’s excuse for the clothing line was supposed to be “ironic.”
“Sometimes life can be painfully ironic,” reads a card that features an artist’s statement on the show. “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 sweatshirts weren’t originally meant to be sold, according to the company. But now that there has been so much attention, they might put them up for sale and make a hefty profit.