In case you feel like your wardrobe has been lacking in controversial fashion statements of late, then let us introduce you to KA Design, who have masterfully made their latest collection go viral for all the wrong reasons.
The European design company (who admit they have no fashion experience between them) have designed a set of t-shirts and hoodies emblazoned with swastikas on rainbow backgrounds, with the aim of “reclaiming” the symbol.
In a promotional video on their Facebook page, KA Design explains the rationale behind their decision, reminding viewers that the origins of the 5,000-year-old symbol is actually peaceful – meaning love, luck and life.
And they are correct, as the Holocaust Memorial Museum of the United States explains, the word swastika comes from the Sanskrit ‘svastika’, meaning good fortune or wellbeing, and it remains a sacred symbol in Hinduism, Buddhism, Jainism and Odinism.
But looking at this definition alone does involve a choice to ignore a fairly major part of twentieth century history.
As a representative from the Holocaust Memorial Museum adds: “The swastika would [go on] to become the most recognisable icon of Nazi propaganda… a potent symbol intended to elicit pride among Aryans, the swastika also struck terror into Jews and others deemed enemies of Nazi Germany.”
The symbol is still illegal in many places worldwide – including Germany and Austria, where it is strictly prohibited to display Nazi symbols unless it is for historic purpose.
As they attempt to make it a new must-have fashion logo, KA Design say: “The swastika is coming back, together with peace, together with love, together with respect, together with freedom. [We are] introducing the new swastika.”
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The team behind the brand they told Dazed magazine they “don’t care” if the items are purchased by Nazis.
“We think the message on our apparel is clear: peace, love and freedom win over hatred, war and prejudice,” they said.
“If some kind of neo-Nazi goes out wearing our shirt, he will raise the same kind of questions and discussions as a communist wearing the same shirt. That’s why we don’t care about who buys the shirts.”
The internet has been quick to criticise the move, Madison Weiss said: “You can’t dress it with sparkles and a unicorn and make it okay, any more than you can a cross burning or a lynching.”
Gunhild Wernblad said: “Like your video says ‘they stigmatised it forever’ so don’t try to reintroduce it.”
“Probably one of the worst ideas I’ve ever seen,” said Bryan Horgan.
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