American Apparel Re-launches in the UK

Former cult brand American Apparel re-launched this week in the UK, the company has had a fully re-branded makeover and is staying away from overly sexualised images which saw the previous company director Dov Charney face many cases of sexual harassment. Here’s a previous post on their Controversal Campaigns. 

The new owners Guildan Activewear Inc, a Canadian-American manufacture have decided there’s nothing wrong with advertising the clothes in a ‘sexy’ way it’s just how that sexy comes across which is important, it’s not about sexualising the models it’s about empowering them.  It’s refreshing to see that they do not agree with how the company was formally represented, this is how they used to try and appeal to consumers with their Back to School Campaign.

American Apparel Nylon Tricot Cropped Tank Top

As before the models are ordinary people, not professionals and are from a wide background of different cultures, diversities and sizes. The photos are also unedited which is great because it means that there won’t be any photo-shopped images and shows a true representation of the products and people. It doesn’t matter whether you have stretch-marks or acne etc… it will not be edited out like it’s a problem or like ‘perfection’ needs to be put out there in order to sell the clothes.

“Our customer has never really cared about the ‘American’ in American Apparel because it was made in America. They’ve always cared about American Apparel because it stands for certain values of authenticity, diversity and ethical manufacturing and we keep all of those values now, even though we are not necessarily made in the US,” says Silvia Mazzucchelli, vice-president, direct to consumer. (Theguardian.com) 

American Apparel Denim Lace Back Dress

I am not 100% sure if that statement is true about the customers but in my opinion I thought it was great that the products were produced in America and boosted the job trade over there, far too many companies import now.  There is the option to purchase the American made version or globally made one, of course the global one is cheaper in price. 

Do you like how the company has re-branded?

Will it gain cult status again?

Sources:

https://www.theguardian.com/business/2018/apr/20/american-apparel-returns-as-an-inclusive-online-retailer

*Images from Americanapparel.com 

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Gucci Fall Collection: Making the Turban Fashionable?

Picture this, it’s Milan Fashion Week and Gucci’s fashion show is about to begin when out walks models wearing turbans. You might think what’s wrong with that? but the models of choice are white and wearing an item of clothing specific to the Sikh religion. It’s divided critics with the majority being against this choice, what would have been wrong with using appropriate models? If a Sikh model couldn’t be found or did not wish to be involved then does that not speak volumes?

Gucci Turban

Gucci may see this as being a homage to culture but the turban is significant in the Sikh religion as representing self-respect, honour, spirituality, courage and piety. Gucci is simply using it as disposable fashion, the turban is not supposed to be fashionable and seasonable. In religion it is supposed to fully cover the hair but as you can see from the male model in the centre his hair is visible so Gucci are not correctly adhering to the Sikh religion in any way.

Gucci Fashion Week

As a powerful fashion house Gucci could change the landscape of how religious clothing is perceived by using a vast array of appropriate models from different backgrounds and religions. A lot more education is needed for brands who feel it is okay to borrow sacred religious garments merely for fashion collections, the turban is merely more than a seasonal item portrayed here.

What are your thoughts?

Can brands get away with making religion fashionable?

*images sourced from Google

The Fall of Youtubers: From Hero to Villain

YouTube heroes are quickly declining after many popular vloggers upsetting their fans in 2017.

Zoe Sugg aka Zoella (over 12 million subscribers) suffered a heap of backlash over her festive Advent Calendar caused controversy over its ridiculous high price and poor content packaged inside. If you don’t remember it then the 12 day calendar cost a whopping £50 and contained things like stickers and confetti. Allegedly it wasn’t down to the star what the price point was but she’s happy to slap her name over the crap inside?

She’d also let down fans further at the event Hello World Live but that wasn’t all down to her it was an oversold event hyped up on the basis of a great experience but she barely saw her fans. I’ve never been a subscriber to Zoella but I have brought her merchandise in the past as gifts and to me it looks like she’s all about the money now. Usually her festive merch sells out super fast but this year the shelves are still filled in the sales so can she make a comeback this year?

Logan Paul (Logan Paul Vlogs) took things to the next level recently by publishing a video of a suicide victim found in Japan’s notorious Aokigahara Forest aka ‘Suicide Forest’. The vlogger joked with friends about finding the body and zoomed in on various parts of the victims body, showcasing it to over 15 million subscribers. He claims the reason he did this was to raise awareness of suicide or so he says…

There is absolutely no reason why anyone should film in that area for a YouTube video and it’s absolutely disgraceful that he did it for the views or whatever his motive was. It’s also a shock that YouTube allowed the upload to begin with which questions how safe is the internet really?

Both these Youtubers apologised with Twitter statements and videos but is that really good enough? Should more be done to show their sincerity?

In an online world it’s just as easy to be brought down by fans as it is to be built up.

If you need any support for Mental Health or know of anybody who does then please visit http://www.mind.org.uk to receive telephone support or to find out how else you can receive support.

*Please note I have not seen the Logan Paul Video and it has since been removed from YouTube

*Images sourced from Google

The Big Hoot Trail 2015

From the 20th of July- 27th September (2015) the city centre of Birmingham and surrounding areas will be filled with large picturesque owl statues. The Big Hoot Trail arouses awareness of the city’s culture as well as raising money for the  Birmingham Children’s Hospital.

The statue designs were created by local artists and have been sponsored by local businesses, after the ‘exhibition’ the owls will be auctioned off for the Children’s Hospital. 

The Big Hoot Trail 2015As you can see each individual owl has its own unique design with there being a grand total of 89 to spot on your journey around Birmingham, Sutton Coldfield and Bourneville, there’s even a surprise owl at the entrance of Twycross Zoo.

The Big Hoot Trailbig hoot trail 2015I managed to see around 40 owls with plenty more to go!

If like me you love owls then it makes a great day out 🙂

Victoria’s Secret: Perfect Body

Perfect Body Victoria's SecretThe ‘Perfect Body’ or bodies used in the latest campaign for the large American corporation Victoria’s Secret has caused outrage and backlash against many who feel they used a poor choice of words and models. Three UK students Frances Black, Gabriella Kountourides & Laura Ferris have taken it upon their selves to get the advertisement re-worded or at least an apology from the company, this is through the use of a petition which currently has 20,452 supporters.

The #iamperfect campaign and Twitter handle has been created by those that want the company to change their views and come to the understanding that they are spreading an incredibly unhealthy message about body image.

If you are aware of ‘Victoria’s Angels’ which showcases models such as Miranda Kerr then you will know that this company frequently uses slim models in it’s campaigns, the ‘perfect body’ is no different and showcases 10 models with similar body types and emphasis that the perfect body is a slim frame with a push up bra… It has also been accused of airbrushing the models to make them look more desirable and ‘perfect’ which lets face it doesn’t exist, especially when airbrushing comes into the equation.

The students are brave for setting up the petition and taking on such a large corporations which has millions of female fans, it is their duty as a company to inspire females with their products rather than unleashing a campaign that makes you think in order to have the perfect body you must look like the models they specifically pick to front the advertisements.

The advertisements have been showcased across billboards and other means of marketing so there would be no avoiding the imagery, the models can also be shown with ‘thigh gaps’ which is a very dangerous thing which young females have tried to achieve so again Victoria’s Secret are promoting an unhealthy look which could lead to eating disorders if people tried to obtain it. This form of ‘body shaming’ is getting out of hand and can be frequently found across the media.

If you would like to sign the petition then click the link below!

https://www.change.org/p/victoriassecret-apologise-for-your-damaging-perfect-body-campaign-iamperfect

*Image sourced from Google

Back to University: Stationery Haul

As you may know I’ll be going into my third and final year of university come October, as a stationery enthusiast ive already brought all the items I’ll need including cute notebooks, gel pens and a quirky desk organiser and all the items from this post will have came from WhSmith both in store and online.

Notepads

As you can tell I don’t go for plain notebooks or refill books! I do try to have matching sets though which has almost happened here minus the Aztec print book which was on the 3 for 2 offer! The notebooks are all hardback without dividers and range from A4 to A5.

1) A4 Aztec Tribal Print Book: Around £4.99 on the 3 for 2 offer.

Aztec Print Notebook

2/3) A5 Pink and Purple Polka Dot Notebooks: I brought these online for £2.39 each and they’ll be a similar price in store, ive always loved polka dots and being purple is my favourite colour it has instantly became a favourite of mine. The pink and orange book also stands out so will look great in lectures. 

Purple Polka Dot Notebook

4) A4 Blue Polka Dots Book: I picked this up in store for £2.99 to finish off my notebook collection as I have a notebook now to coincide with each separate module. I much prefer the smaller polka dots but it still beats having a plain book to write in and the sky blue is a nice touch!

Blue Polka Dot Notebook

5) A5 Chunky Face Friends Notebook: This notebook was too cute to resist and comes from the ‘Face Friends’ range but I just call it my monster notebooks! The book was £5.99 which is a bit pricey but it was on the 3 for 2 offer and is quite a chunky book which I plan to safe for my dissertation notes so I feel more motivated to work on it!

A5 Chunky Face Friends Notebook

6) A4 Face Friends Notebook: Again as part of the 3 for 2 offer I picked up this cute notebook for around £4.99 to match my A5, the pattern is quite cute and will offer a ‘fun’ factor to my notes. I believe having books you enjoy looking at and writing in will increase motivation and as this is my third and final year it’s important that I stay motivated and do the best I can.

Gel Pens

7) 30 Pack of Gel Pens: Another motivational technique im going to employ is having colourful notes, I managed to spot a large pack of colourful and glittery gel pens for £4.99 in store which is the stores own brand and was such a great price as I will find them really useful and they’ll come in handy for planning my dissertation.

Empty Dinosaur Organiser

8) Dinosaur Organiser: I couldn’t resist picking up this little organiser that stores notes, it can have the important ones clipped to it’s mouth and it even holds pens! This little beauty cost a mere £2.99 and was on the 4 for 3 offer so why not go shopping with your friends and put your stationery together to save money! Or just pick up 4 things for yourself 🙂

The 4 for 3 offer included the dinosaur organiser, a hippo organiser, staplers, rulers and erasers.

Dinosaur Organiser

I hope you enjoyed my haul post so why not share your stationery links with me or even drop a comment and tell me what you plan on buying for school/college/university? 🙂

Also check out my Dissertation Preparation post if you too are going into your third year of university. 🙂 

https://chasingtheimpossibleblog.wordpress.com/2014/06/01/dissertation-preparation/

Visiting Lanzarote’s Rancho Texas Park

Rancho TexasRancho Texas Park situated in Puerto Del Carmen is a large zoo and water resort which certainly didn’t disappoint! With it’s home to many animals some which we hadn’t seen in person before (raccoons and armadillos) there was plenty to see and do including three shows which featured sea lions, parrots and birds of prey which swoop over your head! 

Armed with a map of the zoo you are free to walk around and see any animals you like at your own pace, first up we saw sleepy raccoons which were still cute and farm like animals such as baby pigs and goats etc… before moving on to much larger and exciting creatures.

RaccoonsThe park has a strong Western theme throughout and which including the décor, pathways and even the home of the animals, the small animal above had little teepee tents which they actually used so that was an interesting sight to see! It also holds a western night which includes BBQ and dancing but we didn’t go to this. Even the parrot show had a western theme and including tiny waggons being pulled by a parrot whilst another parrot stood inside and one parrot knew how to play dead when a toy gun was pointed at him.

Sea lion Unfortunately we didn’t manage to catch the full sea lion show due to them not wanting to play the games! But we did manage to see Brutos the large sea lion above who people could have photo’s with, although we didn’t get to see the full show it was still amazing to see how the sea lions interacted with their trainers. Luckily for us the Birds of Prey show went smoothly and included bald eagles, vultures, hawks and other birds which were showcasing different skills such as how to find food, change course and how they catch prey (shown with a decoy toy), it was a surreal experience as they fly right above you and you can feel the breeze from their wings, people even ducked and dodged as the birds got so close.

Bald EagleThe park had a large water park area which wasn’t just for small children, water slides and a large pool for adults, we didn’t use this feature due to the leaflet only showing the children’s area but if you ever visit remember to take your swimwear! The trip was a great day out and one of the last excursions we did in our two weeks, it’s a great place to visit for all ages not just children.

swimming turtleCrocodile Aligator*Photos taken on a Kodak AZ521 Bridge Camera 

Exploring Lanzarote!

Lanzarote LandscapeIn Lanzarote there is plenty to do, located within the Canary Islands this small island is home of many volcanoes and a lot of the scenery is uninterrupted volcanic rock, palm trees and cactuses making it a beautiful location; for 2 weeks I got to spend my first ever trip abroad in Costa Teguise. 

Although we were located in Costa Teguise my fiancé and I managed to travel around most of the island due to the tour trips which were on offer, we managed to visit Guinate Tropical Park, Jameos del Agua, Cueva de los Verdes (Lava tunnels and caves), Rancho Texas Zoo, Timanfaya National Park and artist Cesar Manrique’s house which he formed out of lava bubbles.

Lanzarote Ocean

When we weren’t exploring the island we took advantage of a wonderful cocktail bar called Surfwings located right next to the beach, the staff were friendly and had a vast array of cocktails for us to try and at night they added an extra sparkle to the drinks, they also offered up large ice cream creations covered in whipped cream, fruit or Oreos which was perfect on those hot sunny days; Lanzarote is a very windy island though so it wasn’t as hot as I’d expected and luckily enough there were no mosquitos!

Zombie CocktailIce Cream CreationLanzarote is a great place to visit with plenty to do, it doesn’t have a large nightlife scene like some other places such as Magaluf etc… but it is a really interesting place to visit with plenty of souvenirs to remind you of your journey and plenty of new experiences. My first time abroad went smoothly and I cant wait to go abroad again! I just know this time to take plenty of plane entertainment, it may have only been 4 hours from Birmingham to Arrecife airport but it felt much longer, especially early in the morning! 

American Apparel: CEO Misconduct

american-apparelIf you Google American Apparel then you will see pages of images filled with sexually graphic content, it’s hard to believe this is a clothing company…

Dov Charney the CEO of controversial company American Apparel has been fired after coming under many sexual harassment cases, the 45-year-old who founded the company in 1998 is believed to have undertaken an unprofessional approach to his female employees, it is said he walked around in his underpants in front of them and even brought they sex toys as gifts. Although he has come under fire for many sexual harassment cases the company have always backed him and no cases have been successful, it has recently emerged that the company have let him go due to ‘misconduct’ it is not clear what he has actually done.

american apparel store openingSuch controversial advertisements like shown above prove that Charney has a lack of respect for women, previous employees claim he acted inappropriately during interviews and were even asked to masturbate in front of him, surely this should have rung alarm bells with the other directors and shareholders within the company? Whilst being interviewed by a journalist she claims he had a sex act performed on him whilst being part of an interview, this CEO clear should have been removed from the company long ago, just because he has ‘power’ within the company doesn’t mean he should abuse it and harass those around him.

Dov CharneyTo check out some of American Apparel’s controversial campaign why not read https://chasingtheimpossibleblog.wordpress.com/2014/01/17/american-apparel-controversal-campaigns/

http://www.theguardian.com/fashion/fashion-blog/2014/jun/19/dov-charney-american-apparel

http://www.independent.co.uk/news/business/news/american-apparel-fires-founder-dov-charney-after-misconduct-inquiry-9547865.html

*images from Google

The Slender Man Murders

Cult horror figure Slender Man who has featured as fan art and within horror games is the latest video game targeted for violent influences; two 12-year-old girls from Wisconsin USA are up for a murder trial after attempting to murder a classmate to ‘please the Slender Man’. The victim also 12 was stabbed 19 times after being lured to a secluded woodland area, she survived due to crawling to the roadside for help.

The Slender Man is a horror icon with a tall and slim appearance and blank face who is believed to stalk and prey on his victims which are mainly children, of course he is a fictional character but these girls believed he was real and wished to go live with him… Of course mental health issues could play a role in this but if they are found to have sane minds then they could face up to 65 years in prison.

Slender Man GameThe girls first became obsessed  with the character after reading about him on the site ‘Creepypasta Wiki’, it’s hard to understand how the girls even came across this site yet alone being allowed to access it, parents cant monitor everything their child looks at but if their personalities changed then it’s obvious something has caused this. The girls told the courts they had thought of different ways to murder the poor victim which all involved luring her somewhere secluded just like in the games.

It is evident that games of this nature are not intended for young individuals that do not understand the difference between reality and fantasy, it shouldn’t be the game itself blamed for this tragic disaster as it clearly isn’t age appropriate but more should be done to censor games which contain strong horror and violence, and by this I mean making it less accessible, if the girls hadn’t been able to get hold of this information then they wouldn’t have committed the violent attack.

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/worldnews/northamerica/usa/10873464/Two-12-year-old-girls-charged-with-trying-to-murder-friend-to-please-Internet-demon.html

*images from Google