Blog: Michelle RussellA pubic display by American Apparel

Michelle Russell | 17 January 2014

Is American Apparel trying to make a feminist statement by adorning its female mannequins with full pubic hair - or am I allowed to be cynical and suggest it could merely be a publicity stunt?

The fashion retailer's Lower East Side store in New York has a new window display this week that is certain to turn shoppers' heads.

The window features three mannequins clad in transparent white underwear, exposing their unkempt bikini lines.

District visual manager Dee Myles suggested to The Observer that the display is designed to challenge women's sexuality and social constructivism. "It is important to have instances spark up curiosity and conversation about what we deem beautiful and sexy," she says.

Indeed, the mannequins are all fashioning rather dowdy-looking hairstyles and a pair of glasses, while the clothes that hang in the background are barely noticeable.

The Los Angeles-based company is prides itself on celebrating culture and natural beauty, so this latest move will come as little surprise to many. Particularly given the retailer is also no stranger to controversy. In October last year, the company released a T-shirt designed by artist Petra Collins featuring a line drawing of a menstruating vagina.

Its window display, however, has garnered a mixed reaction from shoppers, with some seeing it as a positive move for feminism and others believing it is too graphic.

If the pubic hair really is intended as a more realistic representation of real women and not simply a way of grabbing headlines, then maybe we should see the store feature mannequins with armpit and leg hair, uneven skin tones and maybe even fuller figures.

Sectors: Apparel, Retail

BLOG

US border tax a contentious issue

Fresh from their disappointment at seeing the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) free trade deal abandoned last month with an executive order by President Donald Trump, the US apparel and footwear sector...

BLOG

Primark's sustainable cotton programme takes shape

With the ultimate aim of ensuring all the cotton in its products is sourced sustainably, value clothing retailer Primark is adamant that having a business model focused on offering the lowest prices o...

NEWS

Fabric maker Thread weaves new growth with Timberland

Thread, which recycles plastic bottles in Haiti and Honduras to make performance fabric, has published an interactive version of its annual impact report outlining its achievements to date, including ...

BLOG

Trump administration starts to shake up trade

Last week we marked the inauguration of Donald Trump as the 45th president of the United States by taking a closer look at what's at stake for the textile and apparel trade – especially his promises t...

BLOG

Likely shifts in the sourcing landscape in 2017

Continuing our look at what lies ahead for the apparel industry and its supply chain in 2017, the panel of industry experts consulted by just-style last week tackled likely shifts in the sourcing land...

just-style homepage



Forgot your password?