American fashion brand Bstroy has received fierce criticism on social media after displaying school shooting-themed hoodies at a show during New York Fashion Week.
The brand’s spring/summer 2020 collection, designed by Brick Owens and Duey Catorze, featured distressed hoodies reading “Stoneman Douglas,” “Sandy Hook,” “Virginia Tech” and “Columbine,” the sites of four of the deadliest school shootings in the US.
Photos from the show posted on the brand’s Instagram account, as well as Owens’ account, quickly drew outrage, with some commenters identifying themselves as survivors or relatives of victims.
On a photo of the Stoneman Douglas hoodie, one person commented, “My dead classmates dying should not be a f***ing fashion statement.”
Another commented on a photo of the Columbine design: “As a victim of Columbine, I am appalled. This is disgusting. You can draw awareness another way but don’t you dare make money off of our tragedy.”
On Twitter, a spokesperson for the Vicky Soto Memorial Fund, established after teacher Victoria Soto was killed 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.”
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.
These School Shooting Hoodies Receive Major Twitter Backlash – PAPER https://t.co/DovuEeRaqM
— Team Vicki Soto (@TeamVickiSoto) September 17, 2019
Owens posted a handout from the show on Instagram, which reads, “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.”
CNN has contacted Bstroy for comment.