A New York clothing company is under fire after creating a line of hoodies inspired by school shootings. The hoodies are riddled with bullet holes and feature the names of four schools where nearly one hundred people were killed in mass shootings. Bstroy shared photos of the hoodies on their Instagram account and received immediate backlash from commenters.
Many people who commented claimed they were victims of the shootings at the four schools, which include Sandy Hook, Columbine, Marjory Stoneman Douglas, and Virginia Tech.
"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," one person wrote.
"As a Sandy Hook family, what you are doing here is absolutely disgusting, hurtful, wrong and disrespectful. 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," another person replied.
Fred Guttenberg, who lost his daughter in the horrific shooting in Parkland, Florida, blasted the clothing line in a tweet.
"Under what scenario could somebody think this was a good idea? This has me so upset. If any of my followers know anybody involved with this clothing line, please ask them to stop it immediately."
The designers defended their 2020 line of hoodies, which is called Samsara.
"Sometimes life can be painfully ironic," their statement read. "Like the irony of dying violently in a place you consider 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. It is this push and pull that creates the circular motion that is the cycle of life. Nirvana is the goal we hope to reach through meditation and healthy practices that counter our destructive habits. Samsara is the cycle we must transcend to reach Nirvana."
A few people applauded the designers for trying to bring awareness to the issue of gun violence in America.
"This SHOULD enrage people. This SHOULD spark conversation. This is what art and fashion are all about. The problem here isn't the hoodies, it's the fact that we have enough school shootings to make an entire fashion collection of them. Seeing these hoodies & reactions shows how much pain there still is and how, as a country, we still have done NOTHING to stop these senseless (and all too frequent) shooting," Jill Vaccaro wrote on Instagram.