Fashion Without Compassion

Throughout the years, many companies have tried using controversial topics as inspiration for merchandise, but some of these ideas go a bit too far. Fashion brand “Bystro” may have crossed the line with their recent project displayed at the Manhattan Spring/Summer 2020 Fashion Show in New York. 


One of Bystro’s hoodies instantly caught the attention of many critics. The hoodie drew inspiration from some of the most devastating school shootings in American history. Some of the hoodies based their design off the Columbine shooting of 1999, the Virginia Tech attack of 2007, the Sandy Hook shooting of  2012, and Stoneman Douglas shooting of 2018. Over 80 innocent people died in these attacks and were a national tragedy. The entire country found the hoodies simply disgusting after they gained awareness.


The hoodies drew widespread attention after co-founder, Brick Owens, posted photos of the shirts on Instagram. The company received instant backlash from media, survivors, and victim’s families around the country. People demanded that they shelf the product and issue an apology.


Co-founder, Dieter Grams, offered an explanation by saying, “We wanted to make a comment of gun violence that needs preventative attention and whats its origins are,” Grams said. “While also empowering the survivors of tragedy through storytelling of clothes”. Bystro came out and also explained that they did not plan on actually selling the sweatshirts. Bystro angered many, but some people came around and thought the idea did an excellent job on raising awareness . For example, DeAndre Rodriguez, said the idea was “executed perfectly,” and people just do not want to speak on tragedy.