Should Drug-Themed Clothing Be Yanked from Stores?

A picture’s worth a thousand words, right? Nordstrom seemed to think so…but not in the way you might think.

Just last month, the retail giant yanked an Italian designer’s new pill-popping fashion line from its stores, citing it would no longer sell the high-end “Capsule” line from Moschino that was introduced during New York Fashion Week earlier this year. Its decision was communicated via a one-sentence email, a move reversing the retailer’s earlier decision to keep the items in its stores.

The collection, which was inspired by the packaging of medication, sports handbags that resemble prescription pill bottles and clothing emblazoned with colorful pill capsules. The line ranges from a $950 prescription bottle purse and a $650 short black dress covered in colorful pills, to a $1,095 pill-package-inspired purse and a $175 pill-decorated umbrella.

Sending the Wrong Message

Considering the ongoing drug epidemic in this country, one where more than 14,000 people died from prescription opioid overdoses in 2014 alone, it’s no wonder why this product line has sparked outrage across the country. It’s not only tone-deaf about an issue that is at the very forefront of many people’s lives, it also glamorizes prescription drug abuse to boot.

“It’s a victory,” said Randy Anderson, an alcohol and drug counselor in Minneapolis. Anderson launched an online petition in hopes of persuading retailers to remove the Capsule collection and to raise awareness about drug issues in the U.S. Within the first week, Anderson reportedly collected nearly 1,500 petition signatures, attracted national media attention, and spurred some to boycott retailers until the items were completely removed from all stores.

In his letter to the retailers, Anderson notes that, while there have been more offensive drug-themed clothing and accessories (think Urban Outfitters’ “Harroin” hypodermic needle pens), becoming addicted to prescription drugs is not a situation to be made light of. He also added that most people who are addicted to opioids started their journies with legal prescriptions from a physician after an injury or medical procedure.

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Unfortunately, however, Nordstrom is the only retailer “just saying no” to these drug-themed fashions. Saks, which appears to still offer the Capsule clothing line, hasn’t commented on whether or not it plans to discontinue carrying the collection. Not to fear, though. Anderson said he’ll continue to push Saks to pull the items from its stores and will try to get Moschino to drop the line altogether.

Image Source: iStock

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