UPDATE: Lands’ End posted the following message on its Facebook page today earlier this evening:
A note to our fans:
Thank you for voicing your opinions and concerns regarding the assortment of girls’ graphic t-shirts we have introduced for the back-to-school season. Please know that Lands’ End would never intentionally discourage children from pursuing anything that they put their minds and hearts into, whether it’s music, art, sports or academics.
We value our customers and take your feedback very seriously.
We have shared your feedback with our Kids design and merchandising teams, and we will be offering more educational-based, gender-neutral graphics for back-to-school and throughout the fall season.
Lisa Ryder, a Montclair mom, has written the following letter to Lands’ End after looking through the company’s latest catalog with her daughter:
Dear Lands’ End,
My nine year old daughter loves science; She especially enjoys learning about ocean life and outer space. She has read more books on sharks than I ever knew existed, follows NASA news, and hopes to be an astronaut one day.
So you can imagine her reaction when she saw your company’s science-themed t-shirt designs for boys featured on page 26 of your latest catalog. The boys’ options include realistic images of planets and our solar system, labeled diagrams of sharks and dinosaurs, and a “NASA Crew” tee design that she immediately declared to be “the coolest shirt ever.”
We quickly flipped forward in your catalog to find the equivalent shirts in girls’ sizes. But when we got to the available t-shirt designs for girls on page 56, instead of science-themed art, we were treated to sparkly tees with rhinestones, non-realistic looking stars, and a design featuring a dog dressed like a princess and wearing a tutu.
My daughter was very confused. Lots of her friends that are girls love science, too. Why were there no cool science shirts for girls?
So, Lands’ End corporate, how should I respond to my daughter’s question? In 2014, why are you selling “mighty” tees for boys and “adorable” tees for girls? (Descriptions taken straight from your marketing copy.)
My daughter is mighty and she loves science. And until you recognize that it’s not only boys that can fit that description, our family will no longer be shopping in your stores.
Lisa has posted the letter on the company’s Facebook page, where the company responded:
“Thank you for your honest feedback – we sincerely appreciate it. Customer feedback has, and will continue to be, of the utmost importance to us. Please be assured that we are currently sharing your comments with our Catalog Creative and Kids Design Teams.”