American Apparel ads Page 1
American Apparel ads are known to push people’s buttons. From exposed breasts to gratuitous pubic hair to weird watercolor nudes, it’s not surprising that several ads have already been banned in Britain. Now, more are being banned by the U.K.’s Advertising Standards Agency for “sexually suggestive, gratuitous and flirtatious” images and sexualizing seemingly underage models.
As uncomfortable as it makes us to know that someone allowed Dov Charney near their children, we are pretty happy about this new American Apparel commercial, in which world renowned break dancers Jalen Testerman (10) and Angelo Baligad (9) treat breakdancing like it’s a walk in the park.
You know what’s not a secret? American Apparel is in serious financial trouble. You know what else is not a secret? Sex sells! Or at least it’s supposed to. Which is why for the past decade or so American Apparel has resorted to hiring nude models in its advertising. The latest ads, for the company’s new line of women’s jeans, are just as porny as the rest of them, but they leave us questioning whether or not the strategy is actually going to work.
Today in American Apparel advertising: watercolor porn. First came the line drawings, then the pencil sketches, and now we have a pastel-colored watercolor featuring an Eighties-styled blonde and no less than three pairs of breasts.
Oh, so we’re back to this tactic again. In the never ending parade of American Apparel’s new marketing schtick — which is to say: throw everything (ideally naked) against the wall and see what sticks — the brand has once again opted for hand-drawn ads, only these ones are nicely detailed and feature women taking off their panties. Can a drawing be NSFW? If so, these ones most definitely are.
We probably should have seen this coming. But despite taking a slight tack to the more conservative by forgoing models for hand-drawn images in their last round of ads, American Apparel is back doing with they do best: conflating hyper-sexualized imagery for marketable “edginess” — in this case, by showing a model’s pubic hair.
What do you do if you’re Dov Charney and your particular brand of soft-porn styled advertising images are starting to wear thin and your company is sitting tight on the verge of bankruptcy? You have to cut corners somewhere, right? Well, according to ads in this week’s Village Voice and and the current issue of Vice, you forgo hiring models for hand-drawn images that look exactly like your old ads.
American Apparel CEO Dov Charney owns a majority stake in a company that’s been in the throes of death for months. But instead of allowing an investment firm to buy a stake in his business that could potentially save it, he’s just going to wait it out until things get better. He’s also putting out ads that clearly show the crack of a woman’s ass. Because those are totally going to save his business.
American Apparel may have caught a break from Lion Capital, the investment firm that hold the loan on about $80 million worth of the company’s debt, but Dov Charney doesn’t seem to be doing much with it. Instead, Charney seems content to keep with American Apparel’s status quo, which is to say: in house advertising that’s supposed to be edgy and indie but instead is wearing seriously thin.
Don’t blame Terry — this American Apparel advertisement is another Richardson’s fault. Richardson Magazine, stylist Andrew Richardson‘s overly sexualized glossy, ran the ads that are probably supposed to feature American Apparel’s high-waisted lace booty short. But all we see is a half-naked brunette.