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 retailers stock up amid tariff threat

Apparel imports into the US took a tumble in March, with double-digit declines from three of the top ten supplier countries. While the results reflect Lunar New Year factory shutdowns in Asia, China –...

BLOG

Uncertain times should spur innovation

The uncertainty of potential tariffs affecting the clothing and textile sector – and a Trump administration that appears poised to levy more of them – continue to loom large over the apparel and footw...

BLOG

How Bangladesh has moved from "basket case" to bellwether

The fifth anniversary of the collapse of the Rana Plaza factory building in Bangladesh dominated coverage on just-style last week....

NEWS

Sri Lanka's garment exports could surpass $5bn in 2018

Sri Lanka's apparel sector could pass the US$5bn export revenue mark this year, the country's Minister for Industry and Commerce has said, boosted by the GSP-plus status it enjoys with the European Un...

BLOG

Bangladesh safety gaps still remain

As the apparel industry prepares to mark the fifth anniversary of the Rana Plaza factory building tragedy, a new report estimates it could cost US$1.2bn to complete remediation across Bangladesh's rea...

just-style homepage



Forgot your password?