A trendy clothing retailer moved fast to pull a coat off its website after Marines complained it looked just like the famous Marine Corps dress blues jacket. Popular mall store Hot Topic posted the item, which replicated the blues coat’s standup collar and red trim, in early August, but took it down just two days later.
“Replicating the Marine Corps dress blues or making it as a fashion trend is simply unacceptable,” one military user commented on the store’s Facebook page. After the creator of the “Terminal Lance” comic, Max Uriarte, shares the item on his page, dozens more users bombarded the retailer with letters and complaints.
An administrator on the page responded with apologies.
“We now realize the significance of this particular jacket and it will be off of our website, which is the only place we made it available, within 12 hours,” the admin wrote.
A spokeswoman for the brand, Jennifer Vides, told Marine Corps Times that Hot Topic had fielded more than 100 comments regarding the jacket, which was designed by company Tripp NYC, and pulled the item out of respect.
“We will keep a closer eye on the military-inspired fashion we buy to ensure it doesn’t appear to replicate an actual military uniform,” she said. However, she noted, “Military dress has influenced fashion for years and is carried by retailers at all levels.”
Following Hot Topic’s decision to remove the jacket, a number of Marines and vets returned to the store’s page to express their thanks.
“I understand that you removed the Marine style blue coat from your store after you heard how offensive it was to us. Thank you, and Semper Fi,” wrote one user.
“Thank you for removing the dress blue jacket. I will be stopping by my local Hot Topic to purchase a t-shirt to show my gratitude,” another wrote.
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