American Apparel is in hot water again for their racy ads depicting women wearing only socks or leggings, men sitting on couches in briefs with their legs akimbo. The last time American Apparel was in the spotlight for their ads was in 2008.
In 2008 the New York Times and Business Week both took pot-shots at American Apparel for not helping maintain solidarity in the seas of unrealistic, bulimia ridden clothes and accessory models. Ads like these are about as racy as it gets for the U.S. – print/web ads:
According to their site: American Apparel, they are a U.S. based apparel company who are committed to producing their products in America, by Americans.
“American Apparel is a vertically integrated manufacturer, distributor and retailer, based in downtown Los Angeles, California. We currently employ approximately 10,000 people globally (about 5,000 in LA), and operate more than 285 retail stores in 20 countries.
Within our business model, knitting, dyeing, cutting, sewing, photography, marketing, distribution and design all happen in the company’s facilities in Los Angeles. The company operates the largest garment factory in the United States, at a time when most apparel production has moved offshore. With our recently opened stores in China, we are now selling Made in USA clothing in the largest consumer market in the world.
American Apparel leverages art, design and technology to advance the business process, while continuing to pioneer industry standards of social and environmental responsibility in the workplace.”
An honorable aim if I’ve ever heard one. I own a couple of their shirts and I must say American Apparel T-Shirts are some of the most comfortable I’ve ever worn.
The controversy today isn’t how comfortable their products are, it’s about their advertising campaigns, which are also produced internally. Photos like:
Populate magazines, websites and newspapers all over America. I can understand, they may be a bit risque` but I wouldn’t classify them as disgusting or unravelling the moral sweater of our country.
”American Apparel’s print ads are so beguiling precisely because of the Terry Richardsonesque amateur-porn world they inhabit … and none of the anorexia or dramatic pretensions (fear, love, unrequited love) seen in the usual fashion print ads.”
–NEW YORK TIMES
But shouldn’t that be the point? None of the self-consciousness, awkwardness or anorexia of traditional fashion advertising? I would suggest that most advertisers take a page from the American Apparel ad book and do more down-to-earth advertising.
In Europe the ads go full-on nipple/boob. But that’s the culture across the pond and they don’t have the narrow-mind American’s seem to have.
I’m going to venture forth and offer this explanation for the recoil America does every time, CEO Dov Charney churns out another picture of a regular, semi-attractive model wearing tube socks up to her lady-bits; America has an image problem.
We need to lighten-up and start enjoying beauty when/where we find it. If 30% of Americans weren’t obese it might be easier to find this beauty…but alas we enjoy fast food more than the liberation of being comfortable in our skin. Not only comfortable in our skin…but having nice skin to be comfortable in.
I get annoyed seeing these new pieces that pop up on occasion where you have five or six fat chicks posing for Vanity Fair in their underwear and talk about how big can be sexy too…actually…it can’t.
I’m on the march for health. Because healthy people are beautiful people.
Homework: Do something healthy today…Eat an apple…Take a walk…Do some research and start working out. (We all don’t need to be Ronnie Coleman) but we should strive to take care of our bodies and contribute to the beauty of the world around us.
Keep up the good work American Apparel…I’m behind you, when you’re only wearing a men’s Oxford cloth button-down…and in front of you when you’re only wearing thigh-high tube socks…