New York, NY, April 23, 2012 … The Anti-Defamation League (ADL) today welcomed a Danish fashion company's explanation that a yellow t-shirt bearing a logo similar to a Jewish Star of David was in fact an early prototype design that was later changed, but nevertheless advertised for sale on the web site of American clothing retailer Urban Outfitters.
The clothing company Wood Wood of Copenhagen assured ADL the logo consists of "patchwork and geometric patterns" and was not a Star of David. The company said the graphic was created for Wood Wood's spring/summer collection but was ultimately removed from the t-shirt design after concerns were raised about its resemblance to the yellow star some European Jews were forced to wear during the Holocaust.
"We are deeply appreciative to Wood Wood for reaching out to us immediately after learning that this particular design had caused so much concern and to assure us that this t-shirt was never offered for sale," said Abraham H. Foxman, ADL National Director and a Holocaust survivor. "We are pleased that the company recognized early on the shirt's potentially offensive imagery and changed the design so the six-pointed star-shaped logo would no longer appear."
The t-shirt created controversy last week after it was advertised on the retail web site of Urban Outfitters. On Thursday -- Holocaust Remembrance Day -- ADL called on Urban Outfitters to remove the shirt from its online catalogue due to concerns that the logo too closely resembled the star Jews were forced to wear during World War II and that has become emblematic of the Holocaust.
"We hope Urban Outfitters will act immediately to remove the image from their site, so that no one else will come across the earlier prototype of the shirt, which never made it into production," said Mr. Foxman. "We have notified them again of our concerns."
In its statement, Wood Wood claimed that Urban Outfitters was in error in displaying the early sample t-shirt, and not the final design, which excluded the star-like logo. The company said the logo's resemblance to the Star of David was purely coincidental.
"First of all the graphic is not the Star of David, and I can assure you that this is in no way a reference to Judaism, Nazism or the Holocaust," Brian SS Jensen, the Co-Founder of W.W., said in a public statement the company shared with ADL. "However, when we received the prototype of this particular style we did recognize the resemblance, which is why we decided not to include the star patch on the final production t-shirt. … I am sorry if anyone was offended seeing the shirt, it was of course never our intention to hurt any feelings with this."
The Anti-Defamation League, founded in 1913, is the world's leading organization fighting anti-Semitism through programs and services that counteract hatred, prejudice and bigotry.