Photos by Bstroy
Because we inhabit a repugnant, rapacious, money-grubbing culture, some repugnant, rapacious, money-grubbing creeps decided it'd be cool to make clothes celebrating our national sport of killing children en masse. Thus has Bstroy, makers of "neo-native, post-apocalypse streetwear," unveiled what really, really doesn't belong in the same sentence: "school shooting-themed hoodies," complete with artfully placed faux bullet holes. The Atlanta-based, 20-something pair of geniuses behind the brand, Brick Owens and Dieter “Du” Grams, were recently featured in The New York Times as part of "haute streetwear's next generation," yet another grim sign of the Times' increasingly peculiar values. The duo has already been hailed by fashionistas for their "Sweet Screams" jeans - sorry, "denim bottoms" - for $1,000 (8 pockets! side zipper!), their "standout" $450 backpack parka - look! it becomes a jacket with bookbag! - its $100 t-shirt proclaiming "Life's Hard," its $180 plain white polo, and its "artful silent" show in July wherein some attendees got headphones for the playlist and some didn't to make a statement about “elitism and exclusivity,” though maybe making a recording of Eric Garner screaming "I can't breathe!" might be more to the gruesome point.
On Monday, they presented their new Samsara collection with models walking a runway in four hoodies reading Columbine, Vircinia (sic) Tech, Sandy Hook and Stoneman Douglas, each adorned with strategically placed bullet holes. Then they posted them on Instagram. They'd already sold T-shirts with images of guns - "That's for you to know who we are, so we can have a voice in the market" say what? - but this was a grotesque exploitation too far for many, including shooting survivors and Sandy Hook families re-traumatized by scumbags making a few blood-stained bucks from their tragedies. "My friends didn't die so you could make a fashion statement," one wrote. Another was succinctly right-on: "WTF is wrong with you." The Bstroy boys sought to state their macabre case. They failed, because it was gibberish: "Sometimes life can be painfully ironic. Like the irony of dying violently in a place you consider to be a safe, controlled environment, like school...Nirvana is the goal we hope to reach through meditation and healthy practices that counter our destructive baits. Samsara is the cycle we must transcend to reach Nirvana" - to which one cynic sneered maybe they should read "Siddhartha" for starters. When the outrage continued, Bstroy tried again: They were "trying to empower the survivors through storytelling in the clothes." Unwittingly proving they're irredeemable, they added the hoodies were only in the fashion show and not for sale, but with all the hoopla "that may change."
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Sandy Hook victims