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Urban Outfitters Removes 'Navajo' From Its Product Descriptions

The Huffington Post   First Posted: 10/20/2011 4:55 pm Updated: 12/20/2011 4:12 am

Last week, we reported that Urban Outfitters was taking heat for featuring the word "Navajo" in its product descriptions.

In an open letter to the chain printed on the site Racialicious, Minneapolis resident Sarah Houston Brown called the merch in question (including a feather necklace, fabric-covered flask and headdress T-shirt) "cheap, vulgar and culturally offensive." The Native American-inspired items also drew ire from the Navajo Nation, whose attorney general sent Urban Outfitters a cease-and-desist letter, taking issue with its use of the trademarked term.

According to the AP, UO spokesman Ed Looram defended the brand's decision, stating "The Native American-inspired trend and specifically the term 'Navajo' have been cycling through fashion, fine art and design for the last few years."

Jezebel now notes that the 21 offending products have been renamed on the store's site (for example, the skivvies formerly known as the "Navajo Hipster Panty" now appear under the innocuous label "Printed Hipster Panty").

And the Navajo Nation Department of Justice just released this response to the removal:

The Urban Outfitters Corporation's recent removal of the Navajo name from its online marketing and retailing are positive actions that are more consistent with the corporation's responsibilities than previously demonstrated. If the company has also ceased using the Navajo name in conjunction with its merchandise in its retail stores and print-media advertising, these are encouraging steps by the company towards amicably resolving this matter.

Do you think the retailer has redeemed itself with the new product names?

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