Internet retailer Bad Kids Clothing is the most recent business to fall victim to the fury of Taylor Swift fans. But instead of acquiescing to the self-described "Swifties," it's fighting back against what it calls bullying.
The Electronic Dance Music-inspired clothing brand experienced a social media backlash after posting photos to Instagram and Facebook last week of a tank top the company made for a friend that listed Swift's former love interests:
Given Abercrombie & Fitch had to withdraw a T-shirt it made mocking the singer after a similar episode of "Swift-boating" earlier this summer, it was no surprise retribution was, ahem, swift. Legions of the pop star's fans began an onslaught of hateful calls, emails, text messages, tweets and Facebook posts against the company:
@badkidsclothing TAYLOR SWIFT IS BETTER THAN YOU DUMB ASSES
— Shay (@alwayslovingtay) July 12, 2013
@badkidsclothing is run by two girls who stay at home and cry because they'll never be as flawless as taylor swift
— Me (@Feeling22wbu) July 12, 2013
The company’s co-founders, Lex Houser and Andi Cross, told The Huffington Post that despite taking the initial posts of the tank top down, they decided to start marketing the tank tops.
“We decided to start selling it because the reaction was so entertaining. We’d never seen anything like this before,” the co-founders, who say they were bullied when they were younger, told The Huffington Post. “We also decided this was an opportunity to send a message to these people, an anti-bullying message.”
Despite some of the negative comments, Houser and Cross have kept a good sense of humor about it, admitting the whole thing has been "great for traffic and sales."
Some of the brand's fans expressed their support as well:
@badkidsclothing I'm just sitting here laughing at all the publicity you're getting like you couldn't pay for how good this is Bravo 😂😂😂
— GoodVibesPLUR (@GoodVibesPLUR) July 17, 2013
— Maddie Kelly ☯ (@maddie_kelly25) July 17, 2013
Out of respect for Cory Monteith’s recent death, Bad Kids Clothing says it has removed the actor's name from the tank tops.