ASOS, the popular UK based online clothing site has come under fire for selling a shirt with the word “slave” on the front.
Everyone from Rihanna to Serena Williams to Michelle Obama has been seen in apparel from the popular site. Kate Middleton, the Duchess of Cambridge, has even been spotted in some of their clothing. However, it was not the main site of ASOS or any of their well-known sellers that debuted the offensive shirt.
It's sister site, ASOS Marketplace gives the opportunity for smaller independent sellers to sell their clothing. Many often come for vintage goods as well. Although there is a strict guide of rules and regulations that must be followed by retailers, clearly something slipped through in this case. The brand responsible for the shirt, Wasted Heroes, specializes in basic tees, jackets, and sweatshirts with graphic sayings and images. All of which having the urban-influenced street style vibe that the UK is famous for.
The shirt mentioned was white with a circles “S” and the word “slave” spelled out in black. To add further damage, the model seen in all promotional shots of the shirt was black. The message behind the shirt was meant to mean “being a slave to the label”.
Their bio on ASOS Marketplace states, “Wasted Heroes is an instantly recognizable, bold & brazen street-wear label with an identity of its own. Born on the dance floor but rapidly becoming a music and graphics inspired brand that stretches beyond the parameters of electronic music. The label holds tight to its independent roots and is proud of its hands-on personal approach by designing, screen printing, photographing, labeling and distributing all garments from their cosy Liverpool based studio.”
The shirt has since been pulled from the website but other goods from the retailer are still available for purchase.
Both ASOS and Wasted Heroes have stated their apologies on their respective Twitters.
@KingChicken This product was created by an independent seller and we removed it from the Marketplace site 1/1
— ASOS Here to Help (@ASOS_HeretoHelp) February 3, 2016
@Urbanimated sorry, this wasn't meant to cause any offence and was about being a slave to a label. It really was extremely stupid of us
— Wasted Heroes (Russ) (@WastedHeroes) February 3, 2016