With over 170 locations on Earth and $774 million in revenue, Urban Outfitters has become a popular store among those wanting to express a hip, edgy lifestyle. UO stores that I've been to have been two rustic floors of kitschy knick-knacks, retro and indie vinyl albums, trendy clothing and "artsy" home furnishings.
At one point in my life, I thought Urban Outfitters was pretty neat-o. Over time, though, the vibe began to disgust me. It was kind of unsettling to know that people were attracted to a place that sold "Have a Totes Amazeballs Birthday" cards and Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtle glassware. A little over a year after I made my first purchase from them, I came to one of the most important conclusions of my life:
Urban Outfitters sucks.
Ok, so they have Reservoir Dogs shirts, Sunn O))) and Sleep on vinyl -- and a Bill Murray coloring book. But Urban Outfitters still sucks and here's why:
1. Overpriced. While roaming around one of their stores, I came across an accessory that was, to put it in the most clear and simple terms, a bandana tied into the form of a headband. I don't believe this was some rare form of bandana or was sweated into by Grimes, but it cost $12.
That's like taking a Post-It, wrapping it around your finger like a ring and calling it jewelry. And then charging $12 for it.
On their online store, just so I could see if the prices could be even more bogus, there was a mundane (or what the smug art farts in the buying department would consider "minimalist") shirt by the Obey clothing company with their logo in small font in the upper right corner and the logo of graffiti artist Cope2 on the back, going for $32. That much for a dull, dark shirt?
In the famous words of Jack Handey, "Forgive me, but that's just too much."
2. Unnecessary Profanity. Stocking Minor Threat shirts, Ramones posters and Misfits vinyl aren't enough to show how punk and defiant Urban Outfitters is. Along with selling punk items, someone thought that putting an overwhelming amount of curse words on all the products would shoot them to the top of the rebellious charts.
Placing the phrase "Get Your Sh*t Together" in bold letters on the front of a notebook is just capricious. And I don't know anyone who would mail a "Holy. F*ck. Wow." card. It seems as if they were made just to throw "f*ck" around.
3. No Bathroom. The closest Urban Outfitters store to me, on Park Street in Montclair, NJ, has four dressing rooms, an elevator and NO BATHROOM. After I confirmed with a worker that they didn't have a single restroom, she told me that I should instead go to the Starbucks nearby to do my business.
Four dressing rooms. An elevator. No bathroom. Just let that sink in. Would it be such a burden for Urban Outfitters to install at least a few toilets into their two-floor haven of all that is quirky? I mean, where am I supposed to puke when I see people carrying bags full of eye roll-inducing Star Wars "Swag" tees and ugly neon boat shoes?
4. Clothes Controversy. Tru.che, the Etsy store of indie jewelry designer Stevie K., stocks a series of necklaces dedicated to various states in the U.S. and countries from around the world. Some designs include "I heart New York," "I heart Israel" and "I heart Washington."
In 2011, Urban Outfitters released a jewelry series called "I Heart Destination Necklaces." According to the Washington Post, the artist says she was ripped off. The jewelry had Stevie's similar necklace design -- a state with a heart in it attached to a beaded chain -- and adding the "I Heart" phrase to the title of the product.
Along with Stevie, independent designer Johnny Cupcakes claims he has been ripped off by Urban Outfitters. In 2004, Cupcakes released a red shirt sporting a picture of an airplane dropping cupcakes as if they were bombs. In 2006, as part of their "Urban Renewal" campaign, Urban Outfitters released a shirt with a similar design.
5. Lana Del Rey Vinyl. I do appreciate some of the stuff Urban Outfitters sells -- mainly their vinyl. They have My Bloody Valentine's mbv, Death Grips' Money Store and even Miles Davis' Kind of Blue. However, along with selling Babel and Sigh No More by the wimpy unoriginal folkers Mumford & Sons, the music of one artist is leaving the most abominating dump all over Urban Outfitters' record collection: Lana Del Rey. Popular for musical devastations like "Summertime Sadness" and "Blue Jeans," this Internet-famous diva became the hero of fake-intellectual Tumblr girls everywhere.
Fashion is always changing and Urban Outfitters is known for being at the emergence of new and hot styles. I'm a fan of cool, unconventional clothing, but I'd rather just wear my cousins' decaying hand-me-downs.