When it comes to scandal, I feel like American Apparel are the Miley Cyrus of high street retailers. They capitalise on the shock factor of their advertising when it comes to their photography. Just like little Miss Cyrus, they like to show a little more skin than some people would care to see. They’ve got the knack for knowing how to overstep the mark just enough to get people talking. And (again just like Miley Cyrus), they always like finding new and interesting ways of getting people’s tongues wagging. Their photography is unlike any other retailer.. some would argue it often verges on soft porn, and of course there was the outrage behind the ironically slightly sexist unisex wear photography, which saw guys in fairly normal, nondescript poses while the female models writhed around in their underwear with an oversized shirt shrugged on top to keep the chill off.
What’s really interesting about American Apparel as a brand though is the way they redefine sexy. Even since Mr Motivator’s day, lycra and leotards haven’t really had a mass appeal. Yet somehow they make it work. And they make it sexy. Now, in a society obsessed with youth, plastic surgery and obtaining the ultimate (if a little enhanced) figure, American Apparel, are yet again redefining sexy. This time though, it’s by trying to prove that sexy doesn’t have an expiration date with their latest campaign featuring an un-airbrushed, surgery-free 60 year old, Jacky O’Shaughnessy. It’s like Ari Seth Cohen asks: ‘Why do we only look towards younger people as our fashion icons? Why not look to the people who really know what they’re doing?’ Likewise, if a woman is elegant, photogenic and in great shape, why shouldn’t she be selling lingerie? I only hope I look that good in underwear when I’m 60.
I don't really like American Apparel and the way that they choose to advertise their products. It just doesn't sit right with me. While I still don't love the photography of this lady – I have to admit that she's pretty darn awesome at age 60!
To be honest, I don't know much about American Apparel. That's mostly because we don't have them where I live but I really like that they are using an "old" lady for this. It's encouraging.
Bian, Mortem Blonde
This is the first I've seen these ads and I must admit I'm quite impressed. On the whole I'm not a fan of American Apparel, both because of their shock tactics and because although they may pay a fair wage, they do that by seriously compromising on the quality of their garments. With that said, I love Jacky. Age is just a number, as she clearly proves – women can look beautiful at any age, it's all about the time they invest in taking care of themselves and engaging in their passions.