Not everyone’s into Moschino’s pill-themed collection, claiming it encourages drug use

Following a wave of backlash to the implications of a drug-themed line of clothing, Nordstrom pulled Moschino’s capsule-themed collection from its stores, and it just may lead the charge for other retailers. The prescription-themed line of clothing is the brainchild of Moschino designer Jeremy Scott, who playfully set out to satirize the “Just Say No” anti-drug campaign with his clothing that bears the tagline “Just Say Moschi-No.” Understandably, the reception to this concept has run the gamut of love and legitimate critique.

The pieces in the line are explicit in the theme, including everything from T-shirts to handbags with prints of prescription bottles on them, ultimately using prescription drugs as a fashion print. While pieces from the collection were previously on sale on Nordstrom’s website as well as in three of its stores, the line was removed following a petition made on claiming the collection trivializes the very sensitive issue of drug addiction.

The petition was made by a Minnesota-based drug counselor named Randy Anderson, who penned a letter to the Saks Fifth Avenue CEO, the Moschino brand itself, and any potential buyers, imploring them to rethink the message they are sending by selling drugs as a fashion accessory.

Moschino @victoria02_02 #victoriasong #justsaymoschino #moschino #fashionshow @itsjeremyscott

A photo posted by Moschino (@moschino) on

In his petition against the capsule-themed collection, Anderson cited the fact that the U.S. is currently in the middle of a drug epidemic while also relaying his personal connection to the issue of drug addiction, writing:

“It would appear that you are unaware that our country is in the midst of a severe epidemic of opioid addiction and overdose deaths – acknowledged by the federal government as the worst drug epidemic in U.S. history. According to the Centers for Disease Control, in 2014, 47,055 people died of an accidental drug overdose, with 29,467 of those from opioid-related drugs, which includes prescription pain medication and heroin. Drug overdose is now the leading cause of accidental death in this country.”

While Saks Fifth Avenue hasn’t yet officially responded to the petition, Nordstrom was quick to take action. According to WWD, a spokeswoman thoughtfully expressed their decision to pull the line, saying:

We appreciate all the constructive feedback we received from concerned customers and ultimately decided to remove the collection from our site and the three stores where we offered it.”

Fashion is one of the creative avenues where the line between what is purely an art-piece and what stands as promotion of ethics is easily blurred. Can someone produce and wear clothing that casually bears images of pills without explicitly condoning drug use? That’s the debate at hand.