It’s Fashion Week in New York, which means the city is overrun with designers eager to make an impression with their new 2020 collections.
One designer’s efforts certainly made a mark, but have landed with a thud. The company “BStroy” debuted hoodies riddled with bullet holes and bearing names like “Sandy Hook,” “Columbine,” and “Parkland” in its Spring 2020 menswear collection. Typically, BStroy hoodies retail between $250 and $410.
The collection received instant backlash online, including from victims and family members of people who died in mass school shootings.
“Under what scenario could someone think this was a good idea?” tweeted Fred Guttenburg, whose daughter was killed in the Parkland shooting in Feb. 2018. “This has me so upset.”
A Facebook memorial page dedicated to Vicki Soto, a teacher killed in the Sandy Hook shooting in 2012, also criticized the collection. “As a Sandy Hook family, what you are doing here is absolutely disgusting, hurtful, wrong, and disrespectful,” the statement says. “You’ll never know what our family went through after Vicki died protecting her students. Our pain is not to be used for your fashion.”
Brick Owens, one of the company’s founders, tried to defend his “Samsara” collection in an Instagram post. “Sometimes life can be painfully ironic,” Owens wrote. “Like the irony of dying violently in a place you considered to be a safe, controlled environment, like a school. We are reminded all the time of life’s fragility, shortness, and unpredictability, yet we are also reminded of its infinite potential.”
Cover: Photo from Brick Owens' Instagram.
This article originally appeared on VICE US.