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Dress Me Up Dollie

Fashion from the fashionably unstylish.
February 02, 2012

A Return to the American Apparel Discussion

I wanted to be a fan of American Apparel.  I really like that all their clothes are made in the US.  When they first popped up on my radar back in 2005, I was all about it.  But then I started to notice their advertising.  Their creepy, '70s home porn advertising.  Eventually, I got so fed up with it that I wrote a post about how much I dislike their advertising. I also sized out of their clothes.  Upon being blocked from buying them anyway, I realized that they don't produce anything I can't get elsewhere.  And it's not of any better quality.

So why am I writing about them again?  In short, because they're ass-hats. Despite plus-sized women not being their demographic, AA launched a contest to find "The Next Big Thing."  Yup, that's what they called a contest trying to find plus-sized models.  Nancy Upton decided to enter the contest and make a total mockery of it.  I was totally in support of her and her message (the photos she took are very much in the AA style, but feature her gorging on all kinds of food.  Her profile for the contest includes the line "I just can't stop eating") but didn't write anything about it.

Nancy's Tumblr and contest entry took off in popularity and she won the contest.  By a landslide.  And do you know what American Apparel did?  They flat out rejected her win.  In fact, they said, in a letter to her, “Oh—and regarding winning the contest, while you were clearly the popular choice, we have decided to award the prizes to other contestants that we feel truly exemplify the idea of beauty inside and out, and whom we will be proud to have representing our company.”  So they didn't need to have a contest at all.  They just needed to have a plus-sized model casting.  (There are whole agencies dedicated to just that.)  But that wouldn't feign an interest in the customer or developing a relationship with consumers they've excluded.

So it's sealed, then.  I'm disappointed in the company all around (without having touched on their labor policies!) and won't be supporting them anymore.  Spread the word.

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