The sweatshirt, which was supposed to be part of an empowering campaign by retailer LPA and Lena Dunham focused on taking a stance against cyber-bullying, was seen first featured on Revolve’s site on a a sample-size model, sparking outrage.
In a statement shared on the fashion retailer’s Instagram account, the brand said, “We messed up big. We are SO SORRY for hurting and offending you.”
“The LPA x Lena collection was a project that we stood behind and believed in. The product released on our site was part of a collaboration intended to shine a light on the darkness of the internet, by printing real-life, damaging comments that have been left on the social media feeds of women everywhere,” the statement read.
“The intention was not to promote or endorse these hateful words, but instead to empower all women by making them understand that even the world’s most beautiful and successful women have been subject to hateful messages from internet bullies. While it was difficult to make out in the photograph that went viral, each shirt said in small text below the hateful quote, ‘as said to Paloma,’ ‘as said to Lena,’ and as said to the other three celebrities who participated in the campaign.”
“And through a horrible oversight on our part, the hateful comment shaming Paloma for her weight was not shot on an appropriate model, and we are horrified and incredibly sorry that we made this mistake,” Revolve said, after many customers slammed the brand for showing the sweatshirt on a sample-size model.
Revolve continued by saying they take “full responsibility” for the launch that “did not go according to plan.”
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“As soon as we realized what we had done, we pulled the product and canceled the line, before a single style was sold. We understand that we might have lost your trust in us, and we are taking necessary steps to hopefully make this right. REVOLVE is donating $20,000 to Girls Write Now, who were meant to benefit from this campaign, and will continue to support our community in any way we can.”
In a statement shared via Instagram alongside a close-up of a Peter Paul Rubens painting depicting feminine curves, Dunham, 32, wrote: “For months I’ve been working on a collaboration with LPA through parent company @revolve – sweatshirts that highlight quotes from prominent women who have experienced internet trolling & abuse. This is a cause very close to my heart and the proceeds were meant to benefit charities that help young women by empowering them to express themselves through writing and art.”
“Without consulting me or any of the women involved, @revolve presented the sweatshirts on thin white women, never thinking about the fact that difference and individuality is what gets you punished on the Internet, or that lack of diversity in representation is a huge part of the problem (in fact, the problem itself.) As a result, I cannot support this collaboration or lend my name to it in any way.”
She continued, “I am deeply disappointed in @revolve’s handling of a sensitive topic and a collaboration rooted in reclaiming the words of internet trolls to celebrate the beauty in diversity and bodies and experiences that aren’t the industry norm.”
Model Tess Holliday first spotted the sweatshirt on Revolve Wednesday before it was removed from the site, and shared her disappointment in the messaging with a tweet.
“LOLLLLL @REVOLVE y’all are a mess,” Holliday wrote.
After the model’s tweet went viral, social media slammed Revolve for carrying the controversial item of clothing.
“Lemme guess! This shirt was designed to “encourage” people to lose weight but not make fun of them. BS! Can’t wait for the excuses!” one Twitter user said.
Another person said, “How about people with Cushing’s syndrome people that are poor people with it as a side effect of their medications… I hate these type of people that thing it’s so simple as too why someone is overweight.”