Kate Moss “skinny” shirt axed by Hudson’s Bay Company
By Jonathan Forani, Toronto Star
June 24, 2014
The Hudson’s Bay Company has pulled a controversial t-shirt from its stores after shoppers cried foul on Twitter.
The shirt depicts a 0-calorie nutrition label emblazoned with the words “nothing tastes as good as skinny feels,” a quote made popular by English model Kate Moss in 2009 and considered by many to promote eating disorders.
“We truly value our relationship with our customers and take their concerns seriously and we recognize that many took offense to the item,” said a statement the Bay issued to the Star. “In this particular instance, while we respect the designer’s art, due to the overwhelming response and the sensitivity of the matter, we made the decision to promptly remove the T-shirts from our stores and from thebay.com.”
After shoppers took to Twitter with hashtags #NotBuyingIt and #YoureFired, photos of the shirt on the Bay’s shelves went viral. But the Bay’s account wasn’t the only one taking heat.
“It felt like a witch hunt,” said the New York-based designer and Vancouver native Christopher Lee Sauvé. The shirt is meant to be a mockery of the fashion industry, he said. “It’s sad to me that everything has to be boiled down to a simple la-la land for Prozac nation to swallow for their Wal-Mart families.”
Another of Sauvé’s shirt designs—which said “boy toy” fashioned out of men’s torsos — was dropped before it hit shelves. His “skinny” shirt design has been in stores around the world since 2009, but was just released in Canada this month.
“Like all of my designs, it’s a glorified warning, an ode to the farcicality of the fashion industry and the obsessives that surround it,” said Sauvé in an official statement. “My sincerest apologies to anyone that I have offended with my designs. I believe wholeheartedly in my work, however, and I can’t apologize for that.”
Brian Cuban, brother of American businessman Mark Cuban, also weighed in on the controversy. Now a writer and speaker on eating disorders, Cuban suffered from anorexia and bulimia for 27 years.
“The public creates the message,” said Cuban, noting the Kate Moss “motto” is considered pro-anorexia by many. “I have full respect for him (Sauvé) as an artist and what he thinks the message should be, but that’s his interpretation.”
“I think the message might possibly be too subtle for most audiences,” said Jackie Grandy, outreach and education co-ordinator at the National Eating Disorder Information Centre. “Once you make a product and it’s out there in the world and it’s on other people’s bodies, you really lose control of how it’s understood.”