Prescription Clothing Gets the Hook from Nordstrom

Health Writer

A high fashion collection from Italian brand Moschino has come under fire for glorifying today’s prescription drug culture. The line features dresses sprinkled with images of pills and handbags that look like actual prescription bill bottles. But its retail days could be numbered.

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The drug-bedazzled Capsule Collection SS17, which made its debut during the 2016 New York Fashion Week, is sold in high-end retailers. Its tank dress goes for $650 and the handbag $950. But nationwide outrage directed at what opponents say is the glamorization of prescription pill use has prompted at least one retailer, Nordstrom, to pull the clothing from its store and stop online sales.

The movement started with an online petition created by a Minneapolis drug and alcohol counselor. Although it succeeded in stopping sales at Nordstrom, Saks Fifth Aveue continues to feature the line, and the petition urges consumers to boycott the retailer until it ceases to offer the clothing for sale. Saks has not responded to our requests for comment.

In an email to, Moschino defended its collection, stating, "There was never any intent to promote prescription drug abuse. The Moschino capsule collection was inspired by a play on the word 'capsule' translated literally as a collection of 'capsule-themed' products … We are disheartened to hear that there has been a misunderstanding of the underlying theme of the collection.”

The backlash is fueled by the prescription drug crisis in the United States—particularly the overuse of pain killers. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, opioids (including prescription opioid pain relievers and heroin) have killed more than 28,000 people in 2014, more than any year on record.

“It’s distressing to see medicines presented in such an irresponsible manner,” says Bob Twillman, Ph.D., FAPM, executive director of the Academy of Integrative Pain Management, of the Moschino clothing line. “While many people benefit from the proper use of medications provided by a trained prescriber, glamorizing them and their use can only do harm by communicating a message that they are fun and fashionable,” he says.

“One contributor to our current problem with abuse of pain medicines is a cultural message that pills will solve all your problems, when, in fact, nothing could be further from the truth. I’m afraid this clothing line reinforces that inaccurate and harmful cultural message.”