Culture Jam

The company American Apparel, prides itself of being made in the United States of America, without the use of sweatshops.  Of course this is something to brag about because almost every modern company, like Nike and Starbucks, outsource their workers and products.  Having their products made in the United States is costlier, but the customers do not seem to mind.  Founded in 1989 by Dov Charney, American Apparel’s clothes are very basic, mostly consisting of plain t-shirts, socks, jackets, and dresses.  To advertise something bland, the company came up with a way to grab viewer’s attention another way.  Photographing young girls half naked is exactly what Dov Charney thought was appropriate for the advertisements.  They definitely got recognized, and a few years later, some of those “models” came out that they were sexually harassed by this man.

For this project, I took an original ad from the company, showing a young woman in a tight fitting, one-piece swimsuit with an expression as if she has been caught.  I wanted to expose the company for their multiple sexual harassment lawsuits in a way that was not directly pointing fingers. The original ad had the text “In one piece”, but by adding “open call” from another American Apparel ad, I turned it into an advertisement looking for models. To address the sexual harassment that the company is notorious for, I added the text “fifteen year olds” with an asterisk that comments at the bottom “must be okay with sexual harassment”.  While keeping most of the original advertisement, I was able to keep the same aesthetic of the company, while also calling them out.

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