Last summer, Kitson—a Los Angeles shop which can perhaps best be described as what Paris Hilton would be if she could somehow be a store—made headlines for selling T-shirts emblazoned with drug names like Xanax, Adderall and Vicodin. Many were rightfully outraged at what they saw as a brazen publicity ploy that glamorized addictive substances to (though they didn’t say this, I am) arguably the most vulnerable people in the world (young women who will pay $98 for a shirt because it’s sold at a place where those who are famous for being famous shop). AfterPartyPod guest Kristen Johnston took the fight on and it’s safe to say that the store humiliated itself in its attempts to respond (No offense, Kitson, but are you tweeting high? wrote a concerned Tweet-er.)
Well now a new, even tackier store is attempting to make a couple shekels off addiction. Enter Rebelious, a UK shop which had the audacity to create potentially the ugliest shirt in the world with just about the least clever drug-glamorizing slogan imaginable, Cocaine & Caviar (sure, it’s alliteration but so is Bad Brits and you don’t see anyone stamping that on a shirt). According to a British paper, the store is populated primarily by teenage girls between the ages of 14 and 16.
Fashion Faux Pas
I’m not saying that teenagers in England are going to rush out to find a drug dealer the minute they put on one of those heinous shirts—or even that they’re going to buy them. But for the roughly 10% of the population that will not be able to stop doing cocaine or alcohol or pot or whatever else once they start, the constant glamorizing and even just normalizing people do about addictive substances really is shocking—especially at a time when we’re finally talking about addiction in an open and honest way. To do this out of ignorance or to make an artistic statement or for a hundred other justifiable reasons is one thing. But to do it because you know it will garner publicity and therefore drive sales? That’s when you have to wonder if these people are not just tweeting but also designing while high.
Photo courtesy of Flickr (https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0/)
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