Urban Outfitters Come Under Fire for Navajo-Branded Clothing

High street store Urban Outfitters have found themselves in hot water after releasing several products branded with the name 'Navajo'. The Navajo Nation government have a number of issues with the products - that they may infringe on trademarks, while some tribal members may find the use of such prints on items such as underwear and liquor flasks disrespectful. The Navajo Department of Justice sent the CEO of Urban Outfitters a cease-and-desist letter a few months ago, and it looks as though this may turn into a legal battle. An attorney for the tribe, Brian Lewis commented:

"When products that have absolutely no connection to the Navajo Nation, its entities, its people, and their products are marketed and retailed under the guise that they are Navajo in origin, the Navajo Nation does not regard this as benign or trivial, it takes appropriate action to maintain distinctiveness and clarity of valid name association in the market and society."

However, a spokesperson for Urban Outfitters makes it sound as though they won't stop selling the offensive products:"Like many other fashion brands, we interpret trends and will continue to do so for years to come, the Native American-inspired trend and specifically the term `Navajo' have been cycling through fashion, fine art and design for the last few years."

Upon a search of the Urban Outfitters site, it is clear to see up to 20 items labelled 'Navajo' - shoes, earrings, coats and bags, while a pair of printed underwear and a printed hip-flask have caused the most uproar. See some of Urban Outfitter's 'Navajo' labelled items below.

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