Philadelphia-based fashion retailer Urban Outfitters removed their controversial 'Lord Ganesh' socks from stores today and issued an apology to Hindus.
The hotly protested red and blue crew-length socks featured the image of Hindu deity Lord Ganesh at the ankle. The product sold for $8 and was described by the retailer as “awesome” and a “UO Exclusive”.
Urban Outfitters found themselves in hot water after the socks caught the attention of Rajan Zed, President of Universal Society of Hinduism, who did not find the religious footwear “awesome”.
Urban Outfitters writes:
“We sincerely apologize if we offended the Hindu community and our customers…We will remove the Ganesh Socks immediately from our website and stores.”
This is not the first time that Urban Outfitters has been called out for cultural insensitivity. In 2012, the Navajo Nation filed a federal lawsuit against Urban Outfitters, accusing them of trademark infringement for using the tribe's geometric prints and names without licensing. This included the cringe-inducing “Navajo Hipster Panty”. And who can forget the 'Holocaust tee shirt' scandal?