American Apparel is so cool AND smart. Besides making their clothes in a vertically integrated Los Angeles (USA!!!) based unit, the company's ads and marketing are cutting edge. Recognizing and certainly not ducking how fat and sized Americans have become, a strategy to reach out to the big market was heralded by a model search aptly named The Next Big Thing.
Somewhere in the order of 990 women submitted their respective images in an effort to win over a contract to model for AA. Over 900 entrants!!! So unabashed and impressive... are these women AND why shouldn't they be? For the most part each of them is hot and sexy. The day of the bony, stick-figure girl is over - DONE. So how did it turn out?
Ha-ha-ha-ha----. The founder of AA is the frisky Dov Charney. He is a man of some friction and as he moves through his cosmos, he leaves behind a trail of heat and light. Always in some legal peccadillo or another, be it business or sexual, Dov is a trendsetter and a scout. So the fact that the Thing campaign ended up in the selection of a hottie, who was spoofing the whole idea out of her anger about the promotion, is a belly shaker. Nancy Upton believes that AA improperly and insincerely sought out more full sized exemplars of femininity to help them sell product.
As fate would have it - the winner, a size 12 temptress, opined... http://dfw.cbslocal.com/2011/10/10/dallas-woman-launches-social-commentary-at-american-apparel-wins-contest/
“How do they really picture us?” she asked. “Do they picture us sitting around all day being lazy and eating fried chicken?”
The ad said it was “calling for curvy ladies everywhere!”
“You know, ‘bootyful’ or ‘curvalicious,’ as opposed to calling us sexy, or attractive, or beautiful,” Upton said. “No plus sized woman in her right mind would have written that.”
“I definitely wanted there to be an element of satire and kind of an underlying statement about, like, perceptions of beauty in America; perceptions of overweight people and body awareness,” Upton said.AA posted all of the pictures and lo and behold Ms. Upton won the popular vote. After Upton exposed her position and she rejected the opportunity to model, AA expressed its displeasure...
“It’s a shame that your project attempts to discredit the positive intentions of our challenge … and that booty-licious was too much for you to handle.”And so it went. AA did invite both Upton and her photographer Shannon Skloss out to LA for a tour and a look see. The Texas duo are planning a book (and more!)... Upton's blog is a good one and deserves a look, http://extrawiggleroom.tumblr.com/ In the meantime, AA selected 10 other women to do the walk for them.
Find below some top images from other entrants, as posted on AA's website, http://www.americanapparel.net/storefront/UGCStyle/ModelSearch2011/browse.asp
American Apparel has managed to generate more advertising exposure with Upton's spoof and refusal than the company could have ever afforded. America is like that. Adversity often leads to success. For her part, Upton has gotten way more mileage and ultimate fame as well. Also, from a realistic perspective, finally, curvey women have came of age.
Bring on the Ads!!!
(she makes you a cherry pie muncher)