Is fashion controversial, or is controversy fashionable? The case can be made for both, since these two elements of culture often combine and interplay with dramatic results. Consider, for example, a handcuff bracelet, or a mudflap girl pendant. Would you wear them? Perhaps a martini glass necklace or some sparkly skulls are more your style? These best selling items are customer favorites, but they don’t appeal to everyone. Some shoppers feel that we are sending out a negative message by selling these pieces. Our gun necklace is one such item that struck a nerve with people, and we wanted to open the topic up to our blog readers.
We offer our gun necklace for several reasons. First and foremost, we respond to our customer requests, and this item is a favorite among many of our shoppers. Similar jewelry has been seen on stars like Angelina Jolie and Lindsay Lohan, and we always try to provide faux versions of celebrity accessories. Beyond that, though, we feel that we are providing options that people can use to express themselves. We believe that fashion is one form of freedom of expression, and we don’t want to try to censor that. We hope people understand that we don’t support violence, but ultimately we can’t (and don’t want to) control why people wear our jewelry.
One shopper requested that we discontinue this necklace, because she felt it promoted gun violence. We chose to continue carrying the item, for several reasons. Aside from those listed above, we also were worried that we would set a precedent with that action. If we discontinued the gun necklace, would we also need to discontinue our sword and handcuff jewelry? All of these items can be associated with violence, but as with any fashion, there is a degree of subjectivity. We also considered that we have many customers who find our jewelry relevant to their profession, so they wear it with pride. One shopper just gave our handcuff necklace a five star review, stating: “I’m in law enforcement and all the guys have their handcuff tie tacks or lapel pins, but now I have this! Hard to be a woman in my field but this makes it fun!”
Beyond that, our handcuff jewelry are featured in the “Cop Shop” of the Washington D.C. National Museum of Crime & Punishment. Per their website, “NMCP’s mission is to provide guests of all ages with a memorable insight into the issues of crime, crime fighting, and the consequences of committing a crime in America through a captivating interactive, entertaining and educational experience.” Overall, we feel comfortable offering this jewelry to the public, but we understand that some people may consider it to be immoral or even unethical. It is a personal decision, and we respect that our shoppers won’t always agree with us. It isn’t just the guns and cuffs that are raising eyebrows though – some of our other designs are just as notorious!
Some may consider our mudflap girl jewelry to be sexist, or possibly reinforcing an impossible ideal of female beauty. To address those issues, we also offer a mudflap guy – our “Incredible Hunk” necklace! We also support plus size women and provide hard to find ring sizes 10-12, as well as tools to make necklaces and bracelets longer and more comfortable. Our martini glass pendants may be seen as supporting alcohol abuse, but we think they could be the perfect alternative to an actual drink! Skulls and crossbones can be viewed as morbid or violent, but we have also offered jewelry for the Mexican holiday Dia De Los Muertos (Day of the Dead) which celebrates loved ones who have passed on.
Here at Emitations, we try to keep our finger on the pulse of current fashions – which means that we are sometimes involved in a certain degree of controversy. The very nature of our business in faux jewelry, for example, is associated with a high profile issue. The violence and devastation resulting from sales of blood diamonds is a strong motivator to buy and sell cubic zirconias. We are proud to offer a more humane alternative to blood diamonds, and we know that many shoppers come to us for just that reason. With that being said, we also recognize that some shoppers may find our jewelry to be controversial – or even offensive. We will always listen customer concerns, and consider the pros and cons of any items that spark controversy. Sometimes we don’t realize there’s an issue until you bring it up, so please come to us with any of your feedback, good or bad!