Tuesday, January 08, 2008

Be Fair Now

     Now, I must admit that I love the Gawker teams, all their blogs all incisively written and deliriously funny. And although I do understand the Consumerist/Jezebel double-team attacks on American Apparel (see here, here, and here)—mostly critiques of their choices of styling, advertising, and CEO Dov Charney's sleazy self-image—I must say that I find their harsh judgment of American Apparel's inherent fashion sense to be a bit irrational.

     Recently, a couple of folks from Jezebel went to a Brooklyn AA and tried on a few things to display what they describe as "aggressively unflattering outfits". And while I understand Jezebel's disagreement with American Apparel's throwbacks to seventies' spandex and lamé and eighties nylon and pastel, I must say that it seems a bit like they're deliberately looking for things to criticize.

     Now, in terms of brands, I do like some things that AA does (fair wages, pro-immigration stance, vertical integration) and dislike other things (overtly sexual advertising, simply gross CEO). But with all fashion brands, I understand that they are shooting for a certain aesthetic and a certain market; namely, skinny boys and girls who are just too damn hip to wear anything else.

     So while I agree with the ladies who so bravely put themselves up for online scrutiny that their outfits are positively dreadful, I also must say that it seems like they were setting themselves up for it. Would the result have been much different had they walked into a Pac Sun and tried to put on everything Roxy and Volcom? One would think that adults would know what they do and do not like to put on their own bodies and it seems a bit unfair to judge other people who have consciously made the choice to purchase and wear American Apparel products.

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