Urban Outfitters Votes Against 'Old People' Tee

Chain cites 'continued misunderstanding' in decision to pull shirt

Sometimes irony can be more trouble than it's worth. That's the lesson clothing retailer Urban Outfitters seems to be learning after yanking a controversial T-shirt off its shelves.

Under pressure from voting organizations, a group of Harvard professors and others, including hip-hop mogul Russell Simmons, the chain pulled a retro-style tee sporting the slogan "Voting Is for Old People" from its 57 stores in North America (see " 'Voting Is For Old People': Urban

Outfitters Peddles Political Irony"). In a

statement, the company cited "continued misunderstanding surrounding the intended message" of the shirt's creator as the reason (see "

'Voting Is For All People: Web Site Spins Urban Outfitters' Irony").

The shirt was created by T-shirt maker Vintage Vantage, headed by 26-year-old Yale grad John Foster-Keddie, who says the tee was intended to be an ironic jab at "all of us who've been so apathetic in the past." In a statement to MTV News, Keddie said, "So we're banned in the USA, just like 2 Live Crew! We think it's hilarious."

While the shirts were to be pulled by late Friday, an MTV staffer easily purchased the tee at a Manhattan Urban Outfitters on Monday (March 8).

"It was purely a mistake on the store's part, purely an oversight," said a company spokesman. "As of Friday night, all the shirts were supposed to have been taken off the shelves."

The controversy was sparked after 21-year-old Florida resident Kat Storemski complained about the shirt after visiting an Orlando Urban Outfitters. After writing a letter to youthvote.org, support for her argument began to snowball.

Having been barraged with hate mail since appearing on MTV with a doctored version of the shirt reading "Voting Is for All People," Storemski said she's extremely pleased by Urban Outfitters' decision. "Even if it is just a shirt, it got the message out there that voting is a big deal," she told MTV News.

For more political news, insight into the 2004 presidential election and information on registering to vote, check out

href="http://www.chooseorlose.com/">ChooseorLose.