Wednesday, October 04, 2006

A Problem with Urban Outfitters

Maybe this popular knowledge, but it was news to us. This comes from Manhattan User's Guide, not one of our usual news sources:
A reader better informed than we are pointed out that both Anthropolgie and Urban Outfitters are owned by Richard Hayne.

Jonathan Valania wrote an excellent piece on Hayne in the Philadelphia Weekly a few years ago in which he reported that Hayne had donated $13,150 to Rick Santorum and his PAC over the years. (Santorum, as you'll recall, is anti-abortion, anti-gay rights, and in favor of teaching intelligent design.)

Hayne claimed in that article that his stores had no political affiliations or agenda. But Valania points out that a list of Santorum campaign donors included Urban Outfitters.

And the t-shirts at Urban Outfitters certainly seem to be an expression of a political point of view. In 2004, the store carried a t-shirt that declared "voting is for old people." You might accept their explanation that the message was meant ironically, but there's this:

Last year, the store sold a t-shirt that read "New Mexico, Cleaner than Regular Mexico."

And Urban Outfitters had no problem carrying the game Ghettopoly until the heat was on them.

Richard Hayne has every right to sell whatever's legal in his stores. You have every right to know where your dollars are going. Your money, your choice.
Good reason to think twice before patronizing one of those stores.

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