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When Capitalism Goes Wrong

December 30, 2015 2 min read


Look at this foolishness.

It's never a good business practice to trash another business, especially as a startup. It's typically considered bad form. However, I had to speak on this because it disturbed me so much. Beyond that, it's the whole reason why Haus Urban exists.

Old Navy decided that it would sell more (cheap) t-shirts by belittling those who have committed to lives in the arts. Think about that. Old Navy, owned by Gap Inc. is suggesting to you and your children that they would prefer you become an astronaut or a politician than an artist. 


A politician. 

Someone at the top of Old Navy, the American company who makes it's goods in unsafe, highly flammable buildings in Bangladesh, utilizing impoverished workers who are making less than a dollar a day, has decided that Artists in America, and by extension American art, does not matter. Is not important. And that your children should be encouraged to steer clear of it. Somehow the irony is lost on them that someone had to design that shirt, and it wasn't someone in their C-Suite. 

I could go into all the reasons this is wrong, and offensive, but I won't. What I will do is remind you all of why we need to show artists as much care and respect as possible in this country and around the world. I started Haus Urban as a love letter to all those people who get up every day and are brave enough to attempt to live their dream. Talent is really just the beginning. To commit to the life of an artist, requires strength, faith, optimism and an evergreen hope in humanity that stunts like this dampen on the regular basis.

I don't have any children, so I've never been one to advise under what auspices they should raise their own. However, I am a child that was encouraged to be creative, to play, and to see art as a means of preparing for the challenges I would face as an adult. When you hum your favorite song, or laugh at that joke from your favorite movie, or walk through the lobby of that impressive building, please remember that there are humans behind the output, and that they're listening.