Urban Outfitters tries and seems to be succeeding in cornering the market in Hipster Apparel. They sell overpriced trendy apparel and accessories that any individuality seeking young adults yearn for. In its search for new and hip styles Urban Outfitters have made many missteps that have angered protected classes They have taken part and is responsible for cultural appropriation and trying to make light of tragedies just to make a profit.
Shouldn’t the Millennials, who are noted to be the most open minded generation, realize what Urban Outfitters is up to or is their mission towards hipster individuality more important?
Urban Outfitters mission statement is “Lifestyle merchandising is our business and our passion. The goal is for our brands is to build a strong emotional bond with the customer. To do this we must build lifestyle environments that appeal emotionally, and offer fashion correct products on a timely basis. Our customers are the reason and the inspiration for everything we do.”
UO is not only selling clothes, they are selling a lifestyle. They are trying to create something that will cause people to feel something and in the process of trying to do that, they have sparked some controversy. Within the past year, UO has pulled many items off of their shelved because they created too close of a bond with things that made people feel uneasy. They printed religious images on t-shirts and bedspreads and even sold a small statue of a Hindi Goddess that holds your jewelry. T-shirts that are printed reminiscent of the uniforms the Nazis made gay men wear in concentration camps. A whole line called Navajo, a blood stained Kent University sweatshirt released near its anniversary, and a shampoo named with a pun of a suicide hot spot. These are obvious mistakes, right?
UO has been around since the 70s but has really come to be what it is now because of Millennials and their unique way of thinking. Ever since Millennials started to come into their own, they (we, really) have been criticized like every new and younger generation that has come to be. We have been criticized for being obsessed with technology, ourselves and immediate satisfaction but honestly, what’s wrong with that?
Millennials are not even the dominate generation yet but our style has already impacted society. Tattoos and beards are becoming more accepted in the professional workplace. Caffeine still fuels the masses but coffee is introduced in your youth (in the form of Starbucks) and we took it a step further with energy drinks.
It seems as if Millennials have to grow up a little faster than previous generations. Not only because of the limitless access to information but because of all the work we need to put in to break even because of the economic mess left from previous generations. We want to succeed but it has become more difficult for us because of all the hurdles we need to jump though. We are the most education and diverse generation yet but have we fallen prey by big business disguised in skinny jeans and flannel?