Back when American Apparel first appeared on the consumer scene, it was undeniable that it was targeting a very, uh, particular audience. Namely, every artsy liberal arts college student on the face of this country. If you were buying American Apparel for a reason other than Halloween, you best believe that you were probably layering a bunch of different colored shirts/dresses/fabrics and tights with a creatively tied ‘belt,’ thick framed glasses, and a non-functional headband.
AA’s advertising campaigns have always attempted to appeal to this 18-24 “hipster” demographic with overtly sexual ads in which their models wear some variation of the aforementioned outfit. And by some variation, I mean they wear one item out of the six and expose most of their body while styling an impossibly hip haircut, a fuck …
… ton of eyeliner, and/or the seemingly imperative thick-framed glasses. These advertisements, often referred to as “soft-core pornography” rather than clothing ads, have consistently caused an uproar amongst the same community both because of their failure to focus on clothing and maybe moreso because the models are all perfectly tanned, toned, and hairless.
Anyway, it’s no secret that at the moment the company is flailing. Majorly. Their hip audience realized that you can always tell when someone is wearing an item of American Apparel clothing and in turn has moved on in a big way. Dov Charney is getting slapped with accusations and lawsuits and other such crap on the daily, and no one really wants to pay 25 dollars for a v-neck t-shirt anyway.
So when I was shown a new American Apparel advertisement in which the main focus was pubic hair, I’m not going to lie, I was a bit confused. I wondered when American Apparel advertising executives had snuck onto the Oberlin campus and realized that the people who used to wear their clothing were EXTREMELY HAIRY. (Like, really. Barely anyone shaves. Anywhere.) The ad is a monochromatic line drawing of a woman wearing an unbuttoned shirt, and there is a solid black shock of hair in the lady’s crotch region.
My friend who’s looking over my shoulder as I write this just said “when you wrote pubic hair I got kind of excited, and then stopped being excited when I realized it was just a drawing.” And I agree. Sorry, American Apparel. Two-dimensional drawings with pubic hair might wear your clothing, but I’m going to take my 25 dollars elsewhere.