Controversial T-shirts – the Topshop’s lost in translation T

Ever had a clever idea you thought would immediately transform you into the coolest kids on the block?

Said idea sounded stellar in your head, but when you finally shared it with everyone, 6 kids cried. 10 old ladies gave you the stink eye and did the sign of the cross. The neighborhood drunks immediately sobered up and made to fight you, and everyone else just lost their minds?

Well, the Topshop brand learned the hard way that when you have a good idea, you need to say it out loud first. Employ a seer to look in to the future and let you in on the outcome, and then to finally hope for the worst in terms of the public’s reaction.

Say hello to that one time when trying to create a cool t-shirt got way out of hand.

What does the number 96 mean to you? Probably nothing, but to the Topshop brand vs. the entire world, said number meant two very different things for both parties.

The story began on a sunny t-shirt collection launch day for the Topshop brand’s topman men’s wear collection sometime in 2018, which shortly turned bleak.

The brand had the popular quote “what goes around comes around” written across the back of one of their t-shirts, was in the color red and finished off with a rose. It also had the number 96 on it.

You would typically think nothing of it, but certain people who swore they were experts at reading between the lines, got into a heated outrage with claims that the Topman brand was subtly mocking the victims of both the Hillsborough and heysel tragedy.

Apparently, the number at the back of the t-shirt was the same number of people who were recorded to have lost their lives in the Hillsborough incident, and the tagline of “what goes around comes around” was the last straw that broke the camel’s back.

These people were quite certain that the Topshop brand was indirectly agreeing with those people who believed that the Liverpool fans had it coming with the tragedy that befell them in regards to the quote on the t-shirt, and they were not having any of it.


Who would have thought the connection? No really!

Our heads were spinning at the assumed link between the Topshop brand’s topman product launch, and the tragedies.

The Topshop brand put out an official statement debunking the claims made by the public, but you know the thing with wildfires…

The official statement said that the quote that was used on the t-shirt had nothing to do with the tragedy, but was simply lifted from the bob Marley song “what goes around comes around” (so sorry you were dragged into this sir)

They also claimed that the number 96 at the back was the year in which the song was released.

Wow yet again!

Imagine trying to give a nod to one of your favorite songs, but instead end up being accused of being hateful and insensitive?

Not a fun day in fashion town I guess!

The public would not be silenced, as they called b######t at the explanation from the Topshop brand.

This debacle didn’t bring the brand to its knees, but they did pull down the shirt.


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