Drug-themed fashion angers Mpls. addiction counselor

It’s hardly a new phenomenon that people will look at a fashion and not go with their instinct. Better to fit in than to say “that’s absolutely stupid.” It’s been that way since the emperor went for a stroll in his invisible suit.

But even Hans Christian Andersen would’ve have had a hard time believing that, at least up to now, so few people have been willing to stand up to Italian luxury house Moschino’s pathetically tone-deaf “Just Say Mo” collection of drug-themed threads.

Twin Cities drug counselor Randy Anderson is even more aghast that stores like Nordstrom’s and Sak’s Fifth Avenue haven’t gotten a clue either, the Star Tribune says.

He posted an online petition on Monday to pressure the chains to think it over a little more.

Do you have any idea of the message your company is sending to those who have suffered the loss of a loved one due to a drug overdose?

Have you not seen the countless number of media reports on overdose deaths from prescription pain medication, including the rock and roll icon Prince? Do you have no moral responsibility in what type of products your company promotes for public use?

I’m one of the lucky ones who has not yet lost a loved one to this epidemic. I work as an alcohol and drug counselor in Minneapolis, MN and I can tell you firsthand the havoc addiction has on the individual, the family, the community, the healthcare system and the country.

I implore you to immediately remove these items and their images from any and all sales locations. Until these items and images are removed, I – and all those I know – will not patronize your business. In fact, I will be sure to tell everyone or anyone I come in contact with that they should not do business with any company that so blatantly promotes drug use and perpetuates the stigma of addiction.

That stores would sell the merchandise may not be that surprising. But who would buy it? (Images via Moschino)

Things like a $950 shoulder bag:

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A $75 iPhone cover…
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… to cover your pill-bottle iPhone:
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A $1,000 mini-dress:
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According to the company website, designer Jeremy Scott was “’prescribing’ [his] fans a colorful selection of garments’and accessories that reflect [his] fun, provocative language.”

Scott is a former Missouri farm boy turned designer to the elite. Mere mortals haven’t got a prayer of understanding how.

The company has not yet responded to a request for comment on the petition.

[Update 4:06 p.m.] – Statement from Nordstrom:

We have heard from some customers about this collection. We’re sorry that they’re disappointed. As one of several retailers offering this collection, we aren’t able to speak on behalf of the designer or their intentions. We serve many different customers who each have unique tastes, which is why we try to offer a wide range of products.

  • Kassie
  • Gary F

    Not for me. I’ll pass on this when it comes to the big and tall catalog.

    I wonder what the guy thinks about certain fashions originating from the prison culture.

    And it won’t be sold in Target stores, because they have different type of bottle.

    • Tim

      Not anymore, what with them selling their pharmacy biz to CVS. They’ve switched back to the traditional bottle, to the chagrin of some.

  • Anna

    Some years back, probably 10-12 years, the fashion industry was into “heroin chic” with Kate Moss as the premier model promoting the look. People were up in arms about that look as well and it soon bit the dust.

    I agree it is totally tasteless and insensitive considering the recent reports of massive overdoses in Ohio and West Virginia as well as the senseless deaths of far too many talented celebrities in the last few years, Minnesota’s own Prince among them.

    This goes far beyond provocative. This is thoughtless on so many levels.

    • Kassie

      My friend recently died from suicide and used helium to do it. So if a designer used balloons, do I have the right to be offended and demand their designs be removed from stores? Or would I be totally over reacting? A lot of people use belts when they die from suicide, so should we be upset about belts being used in fashion? Of course guns kill tons and tons of people, but no one gets upset with gun images in fashion.

      • Anna

        I don’t think you understand where the counselor is coming from and I don’t think you ever will.

        • Kassie

          No, I understand where he is coming from. He is coming from a place of overreaction and stupidity. I’ll also point out that prescriptions drugs are not only legal, but life savers. They are the thing that save millions of people every year. Some people abuse them, but for most people, they make life better. Why not celebrate that?

      • You have a right to be offended. You have a right to make your opinion known. The store has a right to say “tough.” There’s no rights question here; just taste. It could be Confederate flag clothing and the issue is the same. Nobody is being denied anything.

        Probably closer to the link aisle at Target.

        • Kassie

          Point taken.

  • Rob

    It’s all about the Benjamins. Nothing is too crude, tasteless, lame or downright wrongheaded if it brings in the bucks. THAT’s American Exceptionalism personified.

  • John O.

    Some people spend their money on the weirdest, ugliest s***

  • Tim

    I guess it’s a question of what you associate the imagery with. I thought of medication when I saw it, yes, but I wouldn’t have made the drug abuse connection that others see. I see it as a commentary on the prevalence of medication throughout our culture, both for better and for worse.

    I also think the clothes are completely ugly, but that’s in the eye of the beholder anyway.

  • Jerry

    Perhaps ironically, high fashion and good taste rarely go hand-in-hand.

  • X.A. Smith

    I think the designs are clever.