Fashion industry heavyweights are condemning a series of new T-shirt designs that mimic David Bain's notorious woollen jerseys.
The designers say the distinctive pieces created by an online vintage fashion store are a tasteless gimmick given the allegations against Bain.
Bain supporter Joe Karam says no-one in his legal team has been contacted about the shirts and suggests they could cause legal concerns.
But web retailer Mr Vintage, which designed the T-shirts, is defending them, saying it meant only to comment on a "crime of fashion".
Today's release of the T-shirts comes in the second week of Bain's retrial on charges of murdering father Robin, 58, mother Margaret, 50, sisters Arawa, 19, and Laniet, 18, and brother Stephen, 14, on June 20, 1994, by shooting them with a .22 rifle.
At Bain's first court appearances he became known for the unfashionable jerseys. The patterns are the basis for the new T-shirts.
At the time of his first trial, he became known for the unfashionable jerseys he wore to court. The patterns are the basis for the new T-shirts.
World fashion label founder Denise L'Estrange-Corbet said people should remember what the trial was about "the murder of his family". "If proceeds from the sale of the T-shirts go towards his trial, then I think it is a good idea. If not, then it's a cheap way for a brand to lever publicity off something which so shocked New Zealanders."
Zambesi founder Liz Findlay agreed. "I feel that this is in bad taste and so what I think of the designs is irrelevant."
Mr Vintage managing director Robert Ewan said he was unfazed by the criticism. "They've got a right to their own opinion and that's fine."
The firm had no desire to wade into the trial. "We're completely neutral. We're not taking sides. We're just targeting David Bain's crime of fashion rather than anything else."
- The Dominion Post