Urban Outfitters Top Brass Refer to Their Customers As 'Upscale Homeless'

(Urban Outfitters)

Ahh! The upper management at Urban Outfitters knows their customers really well, you guys. The chain's top brass refer to their shoppers as "upscale homeless," Buzzfeed reports, which is both cringey and hilarious.

I'm just going to leave Urban Outfitters' Chief Executive Officer Richard Hayne's recent quote here, for you to read in full. Some background info: Urban Outfitters Inc. also owns Free People and Anthropologie.

"The Urban customer, we always talk about, is the upscale homeless person, who has a slight degree of angst and is probably in the life stage of 18 to 26 ... The Anthropologie customer is a bit more polished, a bit more older and she has much less angst ... She tends to be a homeowner and she tends to be in a relationship and more likely than not, married with children."

(Urban Outfitters)

And, of the typical UO shopper, the company's executive creative director, Kevin Lyons, said:

"It is the incoming freshman, the struggling art school kid, the girl who dresses differently than her friends. The kid who has a band, anybody who has a band is our customer. I'm dead straight on that. And the girl who has not realized that quirky is sexy and that being a hipster is not simply a marketing tool."

What Buzzfeed forgot to mention is that this has been going on forever. Or at least since 1998 — as you'll see in this Independent article, which contains the earliest Haynes "upscale homeless" reference I could find on the internet. 1998! Vintage! If that article were a dress, Urban Outfitters would buy it for 50 cents at a Salvation Army, chop six inches from the hem, and sell it for $88 under their "Urban Renewal" label.
I'm the Senior Associate Editor at StyleBistro. Follow me: Google
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