Las Vegas based t-shirt retailer Kitty Kitty Bang bang has promoted itself as "obnoxious," "offensive," and "funny" with regards to it's line of t-shirts, which are specifically designed to push the boundaries of good taste. The t-shirt craze has been defined by statements and graphics placed on the garments which convey the attitude or opinion of the wearer, and the reactions that people get to the statements on the t-shirts usually plays a large part in the reason that the shirt was purchased and worn in a certain setting. "Our funny t-shirts are designed to get a rise out of people, to make them talk," says Andrew Slayton the artist behind Kitty Kitty Bang Bang. "You are going to offend some people and others would love it, we aren't trying to make everyone happy."
What Slayton is referring to is the recent criticism of his line by several high profile gay and lesbian, as well as family organizations. "It is kind of funny when organizations who will often criticize one another are both criticizing you for the same reason," Slayton said. "We have designs that make both of them kind of mad." Kitty Kitty Bang Bang has made waves in communities like these with shirts proudly stating things like "electric cars are gay," as well as other designs that cannot be shown or quoted in a forum like this one. The designs are purposely offensive.
Drawing on the styles of Andrew Dice Clay and Bobby Slayton (the brother of the artist) Kitty Kitty Bang Bang provides garments that proudly state in bold graphics the opposition to some of society's most sensitive topics of human rights, rape, violence and sexaulity. The designs display Slayton's take on topics, and allow people to discuss them. Slayton is unapologetic.
"People need to talk about their opinions, instead of hiding them. If you are a racist, then say it." While this attitude is not for everyone, and many choose to keep their opinions to themselves for fear of criticism, Slayton wears his opinions on his sleeve, or at least on his chest.
The brand that Kitty Kitty Bang Bang has created plays into the desensitization of society that has been growing over the past decade with the advent of social media and online communication. People are no longer afraid to express their opinions or their points of view, and as a result are stating opinions that make others uncomfortable even through their clothing and fashion statements. Is a t-shirt that others would find offensive a funny statement? We will let that up to you to decide.
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