Abercrombie & Fitch has been peddling billboards of apparently-naked men for decades and it seemed to work okay. American Apparel shocked and titillated with its early campaigns: using sex appeal to sell such sundry basics as t-shirts and socks. My theory? BAD sex doesn't sell. And this is one similarity between the porn and fashion industries.
Lululemon founder, Chip Wilson, recently said that the problem with his company's yoga pants is really a problem with some women's bodies. It appears they believe that plus-sized women don't engage in yoga, and what's more, they shouldn't deserve to. Why? Because their bodies don't work with Lululemon's vision of what someone engaging in yoga should look like.
I feel sorry for Abercrombie & Fitch CEO Mike Jeffries. All he did was say out loud what the vast majority of clothing lines already seem to be thinking and practicing. We can, and should, help young people to realize that there are many profound satisfactions to be had in life that do not rely on achieving a certain appearance or level of popularity (a fact that becomes comfortingly obvious as we age, yet is often difficult to grasp in high school). But we shouldn't blame A&F for being honest enough to articulate an omnipresent elitist marketing strategy no one else wants to own up to. We are, after all, the ones that make such strategies pay off.