NEW YORK (Reuters) - Boxy and filled with feathers, the "Biggie" is the winter jacket at the center of violence in New York City including a weekend shooting at a skating rink that seriously injured two young people.
So coveted by teens is the Biggie, made by outdoor gear maker Marmot and marketed as the "Mammoth," that in January a 16-year-old boy from Manhattan was shot dead after refusing to hand over his Marmot jacket. In 2010 an 18-year-old boy from the Bronx was hit by two cars and killed while fleeing a gang trying to take his Marmot jacket, according to media reports.
The Biggie, the bulky parka whose recommended sales price was $630, has its own Facebook page. It links to customer reviews, including some warning that being a fashionplate can be dangerous.
"this is not the coat for yu if yu live in NYC yu will get robbed," wrote one customer identified as Mark Money of the Bronx.
Another commenter identified as "LG" from Manhattan's Lower East Side said, "ima take one off everyones back."
Marmot's website features pictures of fit, trim athletes hiking rugged trails, climbing rock faces and skiing steep snowfields.
But the Biggie was made in sizes as large as 3XL for "people who lived in urban environments" until it was yanked from the production line last year, Marmot spokesman Jordan Campbell said in an email on Monday.
"Waning demand and warmer weather" put an end to the Biggie, Campbell said. "The product's life cycle had come to an end."
He denied the decision had anything to do with the murders of two New York City teens or other violence surrounding the puffy coat.
Over the weekend, gunshots rang out after a 20-year-old man refused to give up his jacket to a 16-year-old boy in a confrontation at the ice rink next to the iconic New York Public Library. Corey Dunton, 16, of the Bronx was charged with suspicion of attempted murder, assault, reckless endangerment and weapons possession.
Both victims - the 20-year-old man and a 14-year-old boy, who was a bystander - were hospitalized in stable condition, police said. The teen, who was shot in the back, was believed to be left paralyzed from the waist down, said Sergeant Lee Jones.
On Monday, online consumer demand for the Biggie appeared to be slim to non-existent. A seller on Ebay.com listed a lightly used black Biggie, size XXL, for the bargain price of $350. By early evening, the offer had drawn zero bids.
(Reporting by Barbara Goldberg; Editing by Bob Burgdorfer)