Monday, February 15, 2010


Selling the Sizzle, Dept.

Great album, the two-disc UK pressing particularly. The U.S. single-disc version has the cover pic of *sigh* Patsy Kensit in a slit skirt on a scooter. A preternaturally cute woman at that point.

I digress.

Or do I? Because, on the topic of pulchritude marketed: American Apparel ads.

Just for background, AA is the largest clothes manufacturer in the United States, says the Wik. And their ad campaigns have been featured in prominent publications dedicated to the featuring of ad campaigns. Periodicals that could be called, say, Faboo Ads Quarterly or OMG, That Ad!!. If those don't exist, take them, a lagniappe for your custom. At any rate, their ads.

American Apparel, or "AA" for the remainder of this exercise, runs gynocentric ads whose design conceit, to drag in Sir Philip Sidney, seems to be "Girls AA President Dov Charney Would Like to Fuck." Which might account for the string of sexual harassment lawsuits filed against him. Basically, multiethnic size 2s in their early twenties arranged langourous and en déshabillé against a plain background. Attractive in a studied unstudied way. Like, "Yes, I'm that Latina-Asian girl with the smile you saw on the subway this morning. But in a lace body stocking." The ads position them as attractive, but not forbiddingly so. Eye-catching but not "cute." Regular girls who happen to be wearing a tank thong while arching their back on a bare mattress. The models like to arch their backs. And spread their legs. Occasionally at the same time. Here, in Choc City, AA likes to take the full back page of the local free weekly for its ads. As a result, one walks into work after lunch on Thursdays carrying a periodical that looks like Barely Legal Lingerie. Very impressive on that crowded elevator ride.

The ads sell women's clothing but appear to be aimed at men (for whom AA also makes clothing, but, for some reason, never features arching their back and spreading their legs). I don't know if the thinking at AA is that guys are going to be all, "Hey, baby, why don't you get this Double Diamond and Crescent Pattern Fishnet, because the model with the dancer's body who's wearing it in the ad I myself would like to bone till the cows come home?" How often that turns out well, your sobsister cannot say. Not very, I would think. Often, that is.

At any rate, American Apparel. You can't argue with success. Or, rather, you could, except that you're temporarily distracted by the Search for the Best Bottom in the World competition AA is currently running, and then you lose your train of thought.

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