Topman 'Hillsborough' top shows 'staggering naivety or incompetence', says Jamie East

Topman 'Hillsborough' top shows 'staggering naivety or incompetence', says Jamie East

The top has been interpreted in some quarters as a reference to the Hillsborough disaster (Credit: Topman)

Friday, March 16, 2018

talkRADIO's Jamie East has said Topman are guilty of either "staggering naivety or staggering incompetence" after the brand produced a t-shirt which some have interpreted as a joke about the Hillsborough disaster.

Many had suggested the top referenced the Hillsborough tragedy, given it was red just like Liverpool's home kit, and carried the number 96 - the same number as died in the 1989 crush.

Topman has now apologised and stopped selling the top, which also carried the phrase "what goes around comes back around." 

Jamie said this shows "either staggering naivety or staggering incompetence. One of the two.

"I don’t for one second think that either Topman or Topshop or whoever owns [the company] have intentionally printed and released a t-shirt to offend and upset people regarding the Hillsborough tragedy. I mean that’s ridiculous."

However, "I don’t believe that at one point [the designer] did not think this looked like a football shirt.

"Even if that designer did not understand the link between the number 96 and the colour red and making it look like a football shirt" it's surprising no one picked up on the issue.

Anna Williamson suggested that perhaps those involved, or spotted the obvious potential for offence, were  "just 'yes people', I don’t know - maybe they don't dare stick up for themselves."

Jamie added that "we tried to get a lot of people to talk to us about this story, not one person wanted to come on and talk about Topshop/Topman in a derogatory light."

This "says a lot I think about the power the company commands over the fashion world."

Listen to the full interview above