Popular High Street fashion label Topman, has been strongly criticised for selling mock stab vests, referred to as ‘tactical’ vests. The fashion brand, which is popular with teenagers, has yet to comment on the decision to sell the garments made by French streetwear brand Sixth June, who describe them as ‘imitation bulletproof vests’.
Several national newspapers have picked up on the story, which has brought Topman’s reputation into disrepute with anti-knife campaigners speaking out against the brand’s decision to stock them. Among the critics is Richard Taylor, whose son Damilola was fatally stabbed in 2000.
Earlier this month there were three fatal stabbings in London in a 12 hour period and terrorist Usman Khan stabbed two people to death near London Bridge.
Richard said: “I am totally against it, especially selling it at this critical time and simply to make money. They should not be glamorising this culture – we are fighting tooth and nail against knife violence and are mourning the death of two young people last week.”
Members of the public have also expressed outrage at the vests on social media channels. With such strong criticism from victims of knife crime and campaigners against it, Topman would be wise to apologise for any offence caused and stop stocking the vests with immediate effect.