Fashion

Singapore fashion label caught up in Urban Outfitters controversy

Singapore fashion label Depression, known in its hometown for quirky unisex clothes & fun printed tees, has been caught up in another Urban Outfitters controversy over a t-shirt sporting the word ‘depression’
 

According to a report on Buzzfeed Business, Urban Outfitters had to pull a crop-top patterned with the word “depression” ‒ originally created by Singapore fashion label Depression for its long-time fans ‒ from sale on its website.

singapore label depression tee causes controversy DECORThe offending tee was originally designed for fans of Singapore fashion label Depression.
Image: Depression

“Urban Outfitters, the oft-controversial retailer, pulled a crop-top patterned with the word ‘depression’ from its website today after shoppers complained that it was trying to make illness into a fashion statement,” stated the Buzzfeed Business story.

Unfortunately Urban Outfitters was previously called to task by netizens when it offered a t-shirt with the slogan “Eat Less” on the same site, which the brand also had to remove from sale.

The furor that has erupted on the internet has landed the Singapore brand in a bit of digital hot water with numerous posts on its Facebook page accusing the brand of trying to profit from mental illness, among other more nasty comments.

All of which has dumbfounded the founders of the brand, Kenny Lim and Andrew Low.

“This Depression t-shirt is a brand piece, made specially for our fans of seven years; for fans who love our brand,” explained Kenny Lim.

“We met 12 years ago in the advertising industry, and after toiling for five to six years in a corporate and cutthroat environment, we felt depressed with our lives and lifestyle,” Kenny said about how the two came to name their fashion label “Depression”.

“We decided to leave our financially comfy jobs to pursue a dream, that would make us happier. A job that we look forward to everyday . A job that we would not feel depressed about all the time.

“Out of honesty, we decided to name out small shop Depression; also as a reminder that we wouldn’t have to be depressed with our lives ... and to remember that if you don't like the way you’re living, you have the power to change your life.

“Fortunately, our shop thrived from an 180 sq ft space at an old mall to the 800 sq ft boutique that it is today. Today, we aim to create designs that always entertain. That are always fun and humorous; to put a smile on people's faces,” said Kenny.

It’s really unfortunate that a small, Singapore fashion label has been caught up in the dramas of a massive American company that already had a reputation for “stirring the pot” on volatile online emotions. The group specifically requested the tee from Depression, including asking for an original crop-top version for its website; a legitimate business transaction.

As Kenny says: “Depression ‒ the label ‒ should not be confused with depression ‒ the illness. We were creatively depressed and this [the fashion label] was to be our outlet.”

The Depression store is located at Cineleisure Orchard, #03-05A. For more information about the brand, go to depression.com.sg. You can follow the brand on Facebook at www.facebook.com/DEPRESSION.label, on Twitter at @DEPRESSIONcomsg and on Instagram at @depression_official.

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