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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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

Miss Representation (2011)

Miss Representation is a documentary from 2011 exploring the media pressures put on young women in America, it more so talks about the limited political power that is given to women and how female power is under-represented in media influences. The documentary was quite a shock to how sexist the media actually is, it showcases women as being natural enemies to each other and generally bitchy behaviour, come on now women do get on with each other.

Jennifer Siebel Newsom narrates throughout the documentary the fears she has of her little girl growing up in the male dominated environment, if they aren’t subjecting women sexually they are undermining their intelligence. A wide range of shocking statistics are also used throughput to showcase how oblivious we may be to what is actually going on in front of our very eyes on a daily basis.

Shock Statistics

“Studies prove exposures to sexually explicit video games and music videos is linked to men’s acceptance of rape myths and sexual harassment”

“1 in 6 women are survivors of rape or attempted rape”

“It is estimated that out of the 8 million people with an eating disorder 7 of those million are women.”

“In 2011, only 11% of protagonists in films were female.”

“Women hold only 5% of clout positions in telecommunications, entertainment, publishing, and advertising”

Media influences may seem ineffective but they do shape how a society thinks, females are constantly sexualised which makes it seem that we are objects, in the popular video game Grand Theft Auto men can beat up female prostitutes and get their money back after ‘using their services’ it shows a complete lack of respect towards women and like this behaviour is acceptable and possibly even funny.

It may not be featured in the Documentary due to it being 2 years later but  Robin Thicke’s Blurred Lines is a primary example of how women are being overly sexualised constantly in the media. The models in the video are dancing around topless (explicit version) and the lyrics over exert sexual intentions and rape, the blurred line wipes out the answer no making it seem like the females are available and this is not acceptable, glorifying rape in popular culture formats will make it more accessible for audiences, women should not be portrayed as sex objects or even used just to boost a songs video hits.

Blurred LinesWith women’s small contribution to media services it means that the patriarchal society will continue to grow, males will continue to undermine a females persona and focus more on her looks, with the over exposure of slim models and celebrities and shaming those who gain weight then it will make it seem like your looks are the most important factor of life.

Jennifer Siebel Newsom illustrates that when auditioning for roles she was advised not to mention her educational achievements due to it being potentially intimidating, what’s wrong with having a degree? Women aren’t dumb which is constantly a media stereotype e.g.’dumb blondes’ but it seems that if you do have good educational traits then you are an outcast and you should focus more on your looks rather than studying. A good example of this is Mean Girls, this isn’t mentioned in the documentary btw, it’s a film that everybody has either heard of or seen, when Cady remotely shows any intelligence she is instantly looked at like she is a freak by the ‘Plastics’ but then you slowly see her consumed by the beauty obsession and bitchy personality.

If more female power was allowed in the media then changes could be made, young girls wouldn’t feel self conscious about their looks at such a young age and the ever growing increase in depression and eating disorders wouldn’t be such a high risk. Everyday females aren’t like those constantly showcased in music video’s, Miley Cyrus may walk around in next to nothing and twerk but it doesn’t mean that every girl wants to act like this.

2013 MTV Video Music Awards - ShowMore statistics and information for the documentary can be found on it’s official site, it can also be viewed on Netflix (UK)

http://film.missrepresentation.org/statistics

*images from google

Niccole Sisters: Walking Advertisements For Dad’s Surgery

Brittani and Charm Niccole adopted daughters of plastic surgeon Dr Michael Niccole have both had procedures done by their dad, the girls in their twenty’s have both had boob jobs and regular have Botox jabs and chemical peels in order to keep their skin looking youthful. At such a young age would they really need all these skin smoothing procedures? or is it just a case of using a short cut because their dad will happily operate on them? 

Charm’s first surgery came at a shocking age of 10, her belly button was re-shaped from an outie to an innie, at age 10 should it really matter what your belly button looks like? Personally I wasn’t aware that such a procedure existed but does 10 sound like a safe age to have it done? I personally don’t think so.  She also has Botox jabs to stop her sweating, this is fair enough if she has a condition that causes excess sweating but it cant be determined if this is the case.

Sister Brittani had her boob job at the legal age of 18 and claims it was the best day of her life, at 21 she also had a nose job, shouldn’t her parents have told her when she was growing up to be comfortable in her own skin? Penny her mother has always been against the procedures but has always backed down after constant begging.

It’s understandable that in the USA  body image seems a top priority but more should have been done to prevent the girls from wanting so much surgery, plastic surgery addiction isn’t uncommon and with all their ‘youthful’ treatments it seems they aren’t far off addiction.  When questioned about his work on the girls he simply defines it as ‘maintenance’ it hardly seems surprising then that he is happy enough to continue working on them.

Are the girls just a walking advertisement for their fathers work? In some ways yes, yes they are but it’s a choice they’ve made and if they decide one day to stop having surgery then I hope their dad will be fine with it rather than potentially using them as a way to showcase his work and gain more clients.  

*images from Google

Toddlers & Tiaras

Toddlers and Tiaras is a programme following the lives of young children who compete in beauty pageants across America. Along the way tantrums are brewed as well as the child’s need to win and to be the best, its more so about winning than having fun.

It seems it is unacceptable to be a runner up and the stakes are high when each girl is subjected to a makeover that makes them appear to be a replica of Barbie.

One little girl Kayla who is 3 years said that the other girls were ugly and another girl Desiree who was 10 years old had ordered ‘flippers’ which was a false set of teeth similar to dentures because her teeth were slightly crooked, she also made to put in contact lenses which she didn’t seem happy with, it just proves that every part of you has to be manipulated in order to look perfect.pageant+girlBeauty pageants for children are quite controversial, some see it as harmless fun and others see it as children being sexualised and forced to grow up too fast in a vanity culture. Personally I find it strange to see a child covered in fake tan, make up and with false nails as it appears to take away their innocence but as these pageants aren’t common in the UK this could be why.  Im not sure young girls should be showing off swimwear and wiggling their hips so maybe the age group should be capped for that or just left to the adult pageants maybe as it does appear to sexualise them especially when theyare pulling poses and blowing kisses.

It would be much better if it wasn’t such a strong competition with pressure added to the girls and more so as a fun competition to be apart of, when a child starts getting upset and not wanting to do something they aren’t comfortable with e.g. having false lashes put on, then it should be time to reconsider that decision.

“Tori Hensley from Lampasas County, Texas, was  seen combining Mountain Dew, Sweet Tea  and Pixie Stix and administering it to her daughter Alexa in a sippy cup.  ‘I want cup,’ the youngster  demanded. Mrs Hensley also explained that her toddler  starts out every morning with a large cup of coffee topped with powdered cream,  which has been a daily ritual since she  was just nine months old.”

It’s taking it too far when a child is given caffeine at such an early age especially when it could potentially cause diabetes when the child is older and lead to a caffeine addiction, it should be a high priority to look after children’s teeth until they are old enough to care for them theirselves, the high amount of sugar will be leading to problems early on.

pixie stix

http://www.dailymail.co.uk/femail/article-2337447/A-caffeine-addiction-TWO-Toddlers-Tiaras-mom-sparks-outcry-giving-child-soda-tea-Pixie-Stix-breakfast-cocktail.html

*images from Google