The singlet as it appears on the ICE website.

The singlet as it appeared on the ICE website.

An Australia Day-themed women's tank top advertised as "a striking conversation piece" has certainly sparked some heated online discussions, albeit for reasons other than those the designer envisioned.

The navy blue women’s singlet, printed with the words "I'm the property of an Aussie boy," and sold by ICE for $14.95, has been withdrawn from sale following complaints the garment promoted a sexist message.

On January 6, 'Gabrielle' posted on the company’s Facebook page that she found the tank top offensive. ICE responded, explaining the item was designed to be interpreted as "cute” and had been well received by shoppers. The company then went on to reassure Gabrielle that “we do not take the issues you highlight lightly at all and do not condone this behaviour.” The Facebook correspondence has since been removed.

It wasn't until Fairfax contacted the company seeking comment on Wednesday that action was taken to remove the tank top from the ICE online store.

“This slogan was chosen by our all-female design team. It is supposed to be a light hearted play on words,” ICE communicated via a written statement.

“Our intention was that it would be interpreted in much the same way as ‘My boyfriend is an Aussie Boy’ or ‘I go out with an Aussie Boy’.” 

“The use of the word ‘property’ in the context of the garment is in reference with the word ‘my’ as in my partner, my boyfriend, my husband,” the statement continued.

“A great example of this is in the casual context of introducing your partner at a social gathering – in common exchanges one might say ‘Hi guys, this is my girlfriend Cathy’. The word my refers to the concept of belonging to, an association of sorts, and relationship that may exist.”

The company then explained that the top was part of an Australia Day collection, which it produced to “celebrate the Australian spirit.” 

As for the ‘property of…’ slogan itself, ICE credits the fashion capitals of the world where the phrase is currently “ubiquitous”.

"We apologise if the meaning of this has been misconstrued by any of our customers and we trust this statement clears up any misgivings our customers have had,” the label concludes.

ICE isn’t the only company to misinterpret the Australia Day message this year. Among the many dubious offerings, a range of promotional t-shirts with “AUSTRALIA EST 1788” logos sold by discount supermarket ALDI were pulled from shelves after social media users began calling the shirts 'racist' and 'culturally insensitive'.

 

 

The company's full statement is pasted below:

 

To all our valued customers,

We would like to address the concerns some of our customers have with one of our more recent products that we are selling in our stores, namely the “I’m the property of an Aussie Boy” tank top.

This slogan was chosen by our all-female design team. It is supposed to be a light hearted play on words. Our intention was that it would be interpreted in much the same way as “My boyfriend is an Aussie Boy” or “I go out with an Aussie Boy”.

The use of the word “property” in the context of the garment is in reference with the word “my” as in my partner, my boyfriend, my husband.  A great example of this is in the casual context of introducing your partner at a social gathering – in common exchanges one might say “Hi guys, this is my girlfriend Cathy”. The word my refers to the concept of belonging to, an association of sorts, and relationship that may exist.  

The top is part of our Australia Day promotional range which is intended to celebrate the Australian spirit.

The “property of…” slogan is ubiquitous around the fashion capitals of the world at the moment.

We apologise if the meaning of this has been misconstrued by any of our customers and we trust this statement clears up any misgivings our customers have had.

ICE unequivocally apologises to anyone who may be offended and is withdrawing the T-shirt in question from sale. 

Regards,

Team @ ICE

 

 

DailyStyle