Interest in the meaning behind the name of British fashion label Abprallen has been stoked after backlash over their Pride collection for Target. The American retail giant has confirmed they are pulling some of the merchandise created in support of the LGBTQ+ community after accusations of Satanism are being hurled at one of their collaborators, Abprallen.
Target is, well, the next target in a long line of companies being boycotted. The retail corporation is hot on Budweiser and Balenciaga’s heels when it comes to controversy. This spring saw Bud Light face significant backlash after sending transgender influencer Dylan Mulvaney personalized beer cans. Let’s take a look at why Target’s collaboration with UK-based label Abprallen is the talk of the town.
What is the meaning of ‘Abprallen’?
Abprallen means ‘ricochet’ when translated into English. Abprallen’s founder and designer, Erik Carnell, explained the meaning of choosing this as his brand name: “I named it Abprallen after the German translation of my favourite word – ricochet. We are all ever-changing, moving, bounding from one state or place to another.”
Synonyms for abprallen include ‘bounce off’ or ‘rebound’.
There has been much interest in the brand and what it represents, with the brand name playing a major part in this, given the Target controversy. As Carnell states in his definition of abprallen, it reflects the “ever-changing” and resilient nature of humanity. Now, that’s a meaning we all can get behind.
Abprallen has no meaning in Satanism
Much of the criticism levied at Abprallen centers on previous designs made by the brand which allegedly promote Satanism. Some Abprallen designs feature images of pentagrams, horned skulls, and allusions to devils. “Satan respects pronouns,” an older design featured on T-shirts and pins read. However, many fashion brands have used similar designs in the history of clothing.
This has become a cause célèbre stoked by those who believe the designs for Target feature such imagery. Abprallen collaborated with the retailer on several designs for the PRIDE collection made for adults (over the age of 18). Some of the designs featured slogans that read: “Too queer for here”; “Cure transphobia, not trans people”; “We belong everywhere.”
When Abprallen was approached to collaborate on some celebratory Pride designs for Target, they had a discussion in advance about not utilizing any imagery that was deemed too gothic or verging on the occult. The designs and slogans stoking this controversy and a boycott are not featured at Target and were not designed by Abprallen for the collection.
‘Satan isn’t real’
Abprallen designer Erik Carnell has released a statement in light of the Target controversy. In a statement posted to Instagram, the designer expresses his views on Satanism and how it intersects with his work.
“I am, believe it or not, not a Satanist. I lack the drive or desire to be a part of any religion – theistic or otherwise,” Carnell writes.
“Satan isn’t real, and because he isn’t real I can mould and shape him to fit my art, I can use him as a metaphor for the very few items I carry depicting him. It’s camp, it’s fun, it’s metal AF.”
None of the items released as part of Pride via Target were concerned to be connected to Satanism or any occult.
For support via phone, one-to-one chat or email you can contact The Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual and Transgender National Hotline: (888) 843-4564. There is also The GLBT National Youth Talkline (youth serving youth through age 25): (800) 246-7743.
You can also contact Trans Lifeline on (877) 565-8860, a trans-led organization connecting trans people to the community. They also offer details of support and local resources.
Please visit PFLAG for more support and helplines here.
For UK support, visit LGBT Foundation’s website here or call 0345 330 30 30, or email [email protected]. There is also a 24-hour crisis text service available at 85258 from Give Us A Shout, or you can call 0300 330 5468 for MindLine Trans+