Kitson Designer Brian Lichtenberg Prescription Drug Shirts
Kitson designer Brian Lichtenberg “Just What The DoctoRx Ordered” prescription drug shirts has been raising some brows and vocals this past week. Drug shirts that promote Xanax, Adderdall, and Vicodin are being sold at $58 and $98 a pop. The description reads: ‘Pop one on and you’ll feel better. Doctor’s orders.’ Designer Brian Lichtenberg defends his design as a pop culture trend, saying it’s “art.” The company also says “a portion of the proceeds from the sales of this collection will be donated to the medicine abuse project.” All we can say is, really?
Just What The DoctoRx Ordered
In defense of the new drug t-shirt line, Brian Lichtenberg, designer of “Just What The DoctoRx Ordered” from Kitson posted a press release saying, “I have created a collection of t-shirts that are a parody of pop culture. This particular collection of prescription tee’s is simply a commentary on what I see happening in our society. Call it what you may, but art in all forms is created off of pop culture and the social situations that surround it. A large percentage of Americans are prescribed these drugs by doctors every day for legitimate reasons. These are not illegal substances. These tee’s are not meant to encourage prescription drug abuse. But if they open the door to a much needed dialogue, as they seem to be doing now, then mission accomplished.”
Kristen Johnston Speaks Out Against Drug T-Shirts
Many people are in rage over the new design series from Kitson “Just What The DoctoRx Ordered” and are not being quiet about it. Kristen Johnston; recovery advocate, celebrity, author of “GUTS,” and in recovery herself, has been one of the loudest about this campaign. Johnston takes to social media through her Facebook and Twitter. Johnston tweets “Hey @KitsonLA do you really think this s*** is funny? Millions are dying, & you want to make $ off it. SHAME ON YOU.” accompanied by an image of the drug shirts. The tweets didn’t stop there, “I have a sense of humor, & love making fun of everying, addiction included. But when a stupid trashy Hollywood store thinks its cool to sell t-shirts like this: (image of shirts), I gotta say something. Not for me, personally, (personally you wear whatever you want, just know if you buy one of them & we “bump” into one another, I didn’t mean to “bump” you into oncoming traffic.) Kitson took this as a threat and responded, “Ms. Johnston do not threaten our customers. Please remove this threat or we will forward this to the authorities. Buy tee shirts, not drugs.” Followed by another tweet at Kristen Johnston: “Next time bully those directly responsible for the drug situation in america: Drug dealers. Not Kitson.”
Celebrities Who Promote Kitson Designs
Although Kristen Johnson is fired up about the shirts, other celebrities who have had their battles with drugs seem less affected. Lindsay Lohan tweeted at what appears to be another portion of Mr. Lichtenberg’s line: “Prob late to the party but love your new line @BriLichtenberg”, followed by a link to the Homies collection and posted before the controversy broke out about the drug t-shirts. Wonder what Lohan thinks of his newest line now? On Kitson’s twitter page you’ll see celebrities like Miley Cyrus in the background, and we are curious to see how Cyrus reacts, if at all, to the new drug t-shirt line.
Causes That Don’t Promote Recovery
DrugFree.org have also been expressing their distaste for the new drug tee line, but now the pharmaceutical companies that sell Adderall, Vicodin, and Xanax are speaking up. A representative from Adderall says “We had no involvement NOR do we approve of the sale of such a product using Adderall to glorify the misuse of our product.” The representative from Vicodin adds in, “Prescription drug use should not be trivialized. It is a serious issue and we will be taking legal action to stop the clothing company from trying to sell such a product.” and now Xanax reps are saying that they are considering legal actions too.
In the end, it really appears that these Kitson shirts are about making money rather than pop-culture art, supporting drug abuse causes, and helping break the stigma of addicts. There are plenty of designers out there that are not only breaking the stigma, but also promoting drug-free partying, Party Sober Clothing is one of them. As a society we have to pull together to help break the stigma of drug addiction. Instead of glamourizing drug use, we need to start to show the truth about drug abuse and that recovery is a reality for anyone who is struggling with addiction.
Kitson Update 12/11/2015