Clothing company says ‘Holocaust shirt’ was used in error
Many clothing brands come up with retro designs to revive bygone times. Danish fashion company Wood Wood, however, made a critical misstep with one of their men’s T-shirts, which featured a six-point star that resembles the notorious yellow badge worn by Jews during the Holocaust.
Wood Wood, which has previously faced accusations that their products contain war symbolism, apologised on Monday after the $100 T-shirt came under fire from the Jewish Anti-Defamation League (ADL), among others, who called out American clothing retailer Urban Outfitters for advertising it on its website.
“We find this use of symbolism to be extremely distasteful and offensive, and we are outraged that your company would make this product available to your customers,” Barry Morrison, regional director of the ADL, wrote in a letter to the chairman of the American retail firm.
ADL’s national director, Abraham Foxman, praised Wood Wood “for reaching out to us immediately after learning that this particular design had caused so much concern and to assure us that this T-shirt was never offered for sale."
The co-founder of Wood Wood, Brian Jensen, apologised for any offence caused by the shirt, saying “it was of course never our intention to hurt any feelings.”
“First of all, the graphic is not the Star of David, and I can assure you that this is in no way a reference to Judaism, Nazism or the Holocaust,” Jensen wrote on the company’s website.
He said the company did recognise the resemblance when they received an early prototype of the T-shirt, after which they decided not to include the star patch on the final design. According to Jensen, the image that appeared on the Urban Outfitters website was “a photograph of an early prototype”.
Urban Outfitters has removed the item from its website and replaced it with a plain yellow shirt. Now the only thing offensive is the $100 price tag.