This is a story about when people who make fashion think it’s time to get serious about the world, but they’ve literally never thought hard about what they’d like to say. I bet the designers at Bstroy were really trying to say something with their new streetwear designs, but never spoke to a single person outside of the fashion industry about what they were doing. It was all interns nodding their heads, saying, “Yes! That’s it! This will really make a statement!”
What statement was Bstroy trying to make? If it was, “We’re idiots,” they really hit the nail on the head.
Bstroy released their Spring 2020 menswear collection, according to Paper Mag, and revealed that it included a series of hoodies riddled with fake bullet holes and emblazoned with the names of schools, like Columbine, Virginia Tech, Sandy Hook, and Stoneman Douglas, where people were famously killed in school shootings. Very cool.
Fashion critics aren’t thrilled with this choice, rightly pointing out that it’s a pretty lazy stab at provocation, not an actual critique of gun culture in the U.S. or literally anything else:
Putting bullet holes in school sweaters isn’t shining light on an issue. It’s being provocative for the sake of being provocative. And that’s not very provocative. It’s not artistic. It lacks refinement. It lacks intelligence. It lacks design skill. It is lazy at best. pic.twitter.com/ADCXaCFcdQ
— B/G (@bibbygregory) September 14, 2019
And it’s been pointed out that there’s no mention of donating any proceeds to organizations working on issues like gun violence:
It’s in poor taste regardless, but that they don’t even mention donating proceeds to oppose gun violence or support survivors only confirms that they’re solely doing this to profit from tragedy. Shame on them.
— Mickey Gomez (@mickeygomez) September 17, 2019
People who say they’ve survived a mass shooting are also shocked to see this on the runway:
Did they really think us survivors of these shootings wouldn’t say anything? This is in bad taste at the least. Should I be thankful they didn’t add fake blood?
— Purple Knight Saber (@YumekoAsagiri) September 18, 2019
The brand was created by Atlanta-based team Brick Owens and Dieter “Du” Grams, and the two have recently gotten a lot of attention. The New York Times called them the next generation of “haute streetwear,” whatever that’s supposed to mean. They released an “artist statement” about the hoodies that in no way reads as an apology:
“Sometimes life can be painfully ironic,” it says. “Like the irony of dying violently in a place you considered 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.”
Sure, that explains everything. The company also makes $1,000 jeans and dips Nikes in concrete, so they’re not exactly in touch with reality.