Wednesday, September 27, 2006

Abercrombie & Fitch: Hefner's Successor?

A few years ago, Abercrombie & Fitch put out mailers/catalogs which were highly offensive--using teenaged models in compromising positions. It caused a stir.

Now they're back in the news:

Ashli Walker rifled through a rack of designer T-shirts one recent afternoon, pondering which one she should buy and wear the next day to Eleanor Roosevelt High School in Prince George's County. The big black one that read, "TRUST ME..I'M SINGLE"? Or the snug white T-shirt emblazoned with, "I KNOW WHAT BOYS WANT"?

They're blatantly sexual, occasionally clever and often loaded with double meanings, forcing school administrators and other students to read provocations stripped across the chest, such as "yes, but not with u!," "Your Boyfriend Is a Good Kisser" and "two boys for every girl." Such T-shirts also are emblematic of the kind of sleazy-chic culture some teenagers now inhabit, in which status can be defined by images of sexual promiscuity that previous generations might have considered unhip

...One popular merchant of suggestive shirts is Hollister Co., a chain owned by Abercrombie & Fitch. Its shirts say such things as "two boys for every girl" and "FLIRTING MY WAY TO THE TOP."

Asked about the messages his company markets to teenagers, Thomas D. Lennox, Abercrombie & Fitch's vice president of corporate communications, said, "Our T-shirts are sometimes controversial, which we're fine with." He declined to elaborate.

Well, Mr. Lennox, you got your wish. Washington Post coverage. Enjoy!


Brother James said...

It's scary how ambivalent the PARENTS are regarding their kids' clothing choices. The kids are practically parenting themselves.

Anonymous said...

Joanne Wynn said her daughter's shirts are humorous. "If it's not in good taste, I don't let [her] wear it," she said.

First of all, I don't think Joanne knows what good taste is and she's probably a "cool mom" who borrows her daughters clothes. She's just one of many many mothers who want to BE their daughters. They must lose their minds when they hit their mid-30's.

J said...

Come on, I think we need to pick better fights than this. These shirts are generally worn by kids who don't even understand the meaning. Sure, it's kinda crazy to let them wear them, but it's definitely not worth getting up in arms over like O'Reilly has. Let the fad play out, let the girls figure out that telling everyone they like fellatio isn't the cool thing to do, and the world will solve these small problems in time.

Anonymous said...

james, either you're
a) very young and don't have any kids
b) you have only sons
c) you are (gasp) a "cool dad"!!!

I'm hoping it's "a".


I'll just bet that O'Reilly is a very uncool dad and his daughter (if he has one) is a decent young lady.

FYI, kids generally don't figure these kind of things out on their own. That's what parents are for. It's called guidance.

Anonymous said...

Can you say school uniforms??

These parents are refusing to BE parents. To let your daughter wear a shirt that says "yes, but not with u!" is absurd. I'm a super cool dad, but tacky and tasteless, I am not!

Dad29 said...

James, if you think the Little Darlin's don't understand what's on the t-shirts, you are TRULY naive.

And James, there is NO more important issue in this country than raising children of virtue and with character.


J said...

I agree...I guess I don't know how to respond other than I think you can solve the problem in a way other than getting all hot and bothered over a shirt. Why not worry about why kids drink in school, smoke up before, or don't even go? I was raised to understand that what one says(or wears)/does are two different things...maybe others just don't get it. There's so much I want to say about this, I guess the crowd is just a bit too old to handle my juvenile attitude towards it :).

J said...

oh yeah...I want to see a girl wear a shirt that says "I KNOW WHAT BOYS WANT" while wearing HUGE hoops...that would bring back great high school memories.

Dad29 said...

James, there was a school of thought which proposed that 'what one wears is not the same as what one does..', but that thought was actually an illogical reverse of the reliable "Don't judge others by appearance."

Older I get, the more I realize that there's no substantial disjunction in MOST cases..

Further, the issue is NOT "what the girls are." The issue is "what the BOYS are...thinking."