Holocaust imagery added to designer's Obama shirt
Photo by Jefferson Siegel
Culturally sensitive shoppers might be warned: Fashion designer Doron Braunshtein has pushed his politics to the next level.
Not content to rest with his headline-grabbing Obama = Hitler and Jews Against Obama T-shirts, the Israeli immigrant who goes by Apollo Braun has brought Holocaust emblems into the mix.
A mannequin at Braunshteins Lower East Side shop displays a Who Killed Obama? T-shirt with a Jude star safety-pinned to its shoulder, which was famously used in Nazi Germany to identify people of the Jewish faith.
A memoir on surviving the concentration camp Auschwitz is tucked into a USA flag-themed belt. Another holocaust patch is on the mannequins shorts and a keffiyeh (a scarf similar to one warn by former Palestinian leader, Yasser Arafat) is tied around the neck.
The designer, who says he is practicing Jew, said hes regaining a piece of Jewish identity that was manipulated to be degrading.
I take it back, like when younger African Americans use the N word, he said, referring to the star. Im taking back something that was meant to separate me from others. I am enjoying it and Im proud to be a Jew.
But whats the Obama beef?
Obama sounds a little bit like Osama, Braunshtein said. And his middle name is Hussein. Its a fact.
Braunshtein added that he doesnt trust the Democratic candidates likeability factor.
Obama is such a charismatic person, he said. If I were to meet with him face-to-face in a room, I would fall in love with him. He will say what you want to hear. People admire him like they admired Hitler.
The Jews Against Obama shirt retails for $250.
Unsurprisingly, not everyones a fan of Braunshteins work.
Burkina, a clothing store around the corner from Brauns shop, proudly displays a pro-Obama shirt.
People can have whatever shirt they want but I dont think they should have one thats wishing death. Its morally not acceptable, said Burkinas owner, Hamed Burkina.
Fans and foes should be prepared: Braunshtein says another explosive T-shirt is just around the corner.
Its the most extreme one ever, he says. Someone is going shoot me over it. And its okay; I dont mind being killed for my art.
Kathleen Bulson and Megan Stride