Remind me not to buy American Apparel clothes

This is the beauty of the marketplace:  American Apparel can use its advertisements for clothes to advance a political agenda that urges us to dissolve our borders (which probably makes a wholesome change from the semi-pornographic ads it ran before) and I can refuse ever to buy these clothes, and urge all of you not to buy them either.  Ms Magazine is also a good example of the marketplace concept:  it can refuse to run an advertisement showing successful women in Israel (no doubt because it conflicts with the Leftist paradigm of Israel as the only backwards State in the Middle East), and it can be reviled across the internet — and, with luck, of its five remaining subscribers, one might be embarrassed and cancel her subscription.

On the subject of pornographic ads and clothes, there is an Abercrombie in my local mall.  I grew up when Abercrombie was staid and preppy.  My daughter, who desperately wants Abercrombie because the trendy girls in her school boast about it, grows up in an era when Abercrombie is sleazy and disgusting — if not in its clothes, than in its advertisements.  Passing the store with her the other day, one could see in the entry way, visible to anyone passing by, a huge black and white photo of a young man with his pants down to his thighs, running away from a group of people who were chasing after him.  I suspect that, on Madison Avenue (or its regional equivalent), they thought this showed young people running from convention and breaking free from conservative oppression.  To me, it looked like nothing more than a young man trying to escape a gang rape.  It is a very creepy picture, and I’m not going to take my children into a store with that kind of S-M porn on the walls.

8 Responses

  1. How degenerative as disturbing as old people suffering from osteopornosis . Abercrummie are a bunch of ignoranuses !

  2. I’m even older. I remember going into Abercrombie & Fitch when it was THE sporting goods store for big game hunting. I would go into the San Francisco store and see fine, handmade English double-barreled rifles suitable for Cape Buffalo.

    Times change…

  3. Bookworm,

    Abercrombie & Fitch does indeed display disturbing pictures on their walls. I remember the few times I walked inside and I thought to myself, “And this stuff sells? This turns people on?” I thought perhaps that at the tender age of twenty-nine, I’ve become a curmudgeon before my time. But alas I don’t think I’m alone.

    Like you, I used to think Abercrombie was a preppy sort of store. I guess something changed there in the late 90’s because when you walk through one of their stores it’s like you’re walking through those tacky black and white non-sequitor Obsession commercials.

    And then the noise level is… well, maybe I am being a curmudgeon : )

  4. Ah, James!! A contemporary…..do you remember the (almost) life-size leather rhinoceros that Abercrombie’s used to have in the front of that store?

    And practically next door was Goldberg-Bowens, where we got FABULOUS sandwiches built to order. Dessert was always down at Union Square — in Blum’s, where we had a Napoleon, and then bought brioche, which my Mom loved, and Danish pastries to take home to Dad in Ukiah.

    I LOVED “orthodontia day” in S.F……450 Sutter, forever!!!

  5. My gosh! Talk about a trip down memory lane. I loved Blums. My orthodontist was closer to home (in the Sunset/West Portal Area), but I got more than my fair share of x-rays at 450 Sutter. I also remember the wonderful Christmas windows the Emporium used to have — not to mention the rooftop fair it used to have periodically. I also loved the old City of Paris, which still had the old, old dressing rooms with lots of space and big windows. The Neiman’s, which is where the City of Paris used to be, preserved the rotunda; and Macys, which is where Magnin’s used to be, preserved the fancy marble women’s bathrooms, but neither feels the same.

  6. Yeah….once or twice a year we got dressed up in our church clothes for a trip shopping, and The City of Paris was where we got my suit. They had a Coke machine and while trying on clothes, you got a FREE bottle (glass, frosty). It was downstairs, I’m remembering, somewhere near “Normandy Lane” – do you remember THAT? The only place I’ve ever seen chocolate-covered ants!! It was the most wonderful deli/specialty food store – at least in my memory banks from 50 years ago. I LOVED the Christmas tree in the rotunda, and am forever grateful to Neiman Marcus for saving it…..

    Mom loved I. Magnin’s though for a pre- and earliteen it was agony waiting for her to finish shopping for herself and the girls. I never got to go into the bathrooms you describe, but Gail remembers them, and says it seemed like the stalls were intended for trysts!! That big, apparently.

    Mom got her “Blue Grass” hand lotion, cologne and other every-day scent there, along with Jean Nate splash for after the bath, and the French soap, hard, hand-milled (whatever that means) and sandalwood flavored – curved so it didn’t lie flat and get all soggy in the soap dish.

    Mom’s “good” perfume was also from I. Magnin – Balenciaga’s “Le Dix” – and I went there and bought Gail Audrey Hepburn’s favorite – L’Interdit by Givenchy. It was perfect on her until she got pregnant with our first child — whatever the reason, her body chemistry changed and she could never wear it again.

    I remember The Emporium, as well – we shopped there often, and Gail bought her wedding dress there for $100.00.
    And then we’d go out and ice skate at Sutro’s, or down to Playland for an apricot turnover and an hour in the Fun House…… If Dad were with us – not often – we would most likely end up at Schroeder’s before heading home….the folks never discovered The Green Apple on Clement (if it was even there in those days)….that wasn’t part of a trip to SF until I had my own kids.

    Sorry for the nostalgia-fest, but those were wonderful days in The City….grand memories.

  7. Ah, Playland at the Beach. The whole beach used to be an amusement park, along the lines of Coney Island, but by the time I was a kid and able to go with friends, all that was left was the Zoo, Fleishacker’s Pool, and Playland at the Beach, with the famous Laughing Sal. I loved the amusements at Playland — very 30s things, like a bouncing platform that would blow air to lift up the gals’ skirts, something already anachronistic when I was a kid, ’cause we all wore pants. And there was this big, wavy wooden slide, and fun house mirrors, and a rolling barrel you’d try to walk through. It was pretty shabby by then, with dust balls big enough to stand in as tumbleweeds in an old Western, but it was still lots of fun.

    I didn’t like Fleishacker’s so much, because it was just filled with ocean water — cold and salty. However, it was impressively huge. Here is a nice article about two brothers who grew up during that area’s heyday.

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