Tag Archives: Media

The Genius of American Apparel

Recently, my group of friends were confronted with the task of obtaining costumes for Bay to Breakers which is an annual event in San Francisco that is essentially one long, crazy alcohol infused block party. The theme of our group was “Sesame Street” so naturally, everyone flocked to American Apparel for their outfits?!? There appeared no logic in this purchasing decision whatsoever. Yet, the store was packed with the prized 18-34 year old demographic in a line usually reserved for bread lines in Communist Russia. All were eagerly awaiting the opportunity to consume short shorts, tube socks and t-shirts at severely inflated prices. (In truth, besides my group, they really weren’t many in the 30+ zone, but please indulge me) It was also ironic that none of us ended up looking like Sesame Street characters. Additionally, nobody seemed to get my “Mexican Count”. Thankfully, amongst the other 30 odd people in our group they were a few legitimate costumes.

Despite or maybe because of a CEO that has been rumored to conduct interviews with attractive female applicants clad only in his briefs; American Apparel continues to thrive as one of the most distinctive and identifiable brands in existence today. The edgy clothing retailer has now become an afterthought as the go to destination for t-shirts, hoodies, leggings, or if you simply wish to look like you live in Brooklyn and love Tom Waits. Put it this way, if you play in a kickball league you immediately know where everybody is going to get your team uniform. Ditto if you’re an Internet start-up and want to make a company sweatshirt. This phenomenon all started as incredibly savvy, well positioned marketing strategy that properly targeted the influencers and hipsters on both coasts. The combination of a borderline pornographic ad campaign, which cheekily used store employees as models and the increasing popularity of all things “indie” fueled the conversation regarding the brand amongst tastemakers. The eventual migration into the mainstream’s consciousness was inevitable and continues to be amplified to the masses via good old fashioned, word-of-mouth marketing. In the trendy Marina in San Francisco that fateful morning, one can clearly envision hordes of twenty-somethings asking their peers where they were purchasing costumes for the big event and all receiving the same ubiquitous response of… “American Apparel.”

The funniest part is that American Apparel does not sell anything unique. One could easily mistake their clothes for Hanes except made to fit Smurf sized humans. Their catalogue contains mostly simple, basic items in a wide variety of colors that are made to fit either heroin junkies or a 20 year old Brit rockers, which I guess is really the same thing. The adoring public continues to pay incredible premiums on v-necks just for the opportunity to purchase it from a guy with an ironic moustache, who secretly despises you. However, there I stood, anxiously waiting in line ready to pay $50 for some tube socks and green “Prefontaine” shorts. Many came out with a befuddled face like my friend Ali below who paid $20 for a headband. However, deep down we both know we’ll be back because we’re that dumb and American Apparel is that smart.

Headband

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Twitter goes back to the future…or past rather

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Outside of Facebook, Twitter is probably the most hyped company in the Web 2.0 arena. It has garnered praise from all the bloggers and geeks of significance. If Twitter was a band it would be The Strokes circa 2003. Twitter is the “it” girl of the Bay Area. Personally, I am still sort of wishy washy on the concept however, I know that the service will be integrated in a variety of ways that someone of my middling intelligence is not possible of comprehending at this time. Nonethesless, no matter which way twitter is eventually leveraged to facilitate some new technique of marketing and advertising; one thing is brazenly clear at this point. Most of the twitter comments are benign, earnest and overtly PC such as “Just got done with bikram…feel Great!”, “Had great meeting with XYZ from ABC company at XXX conference” or “Mmmhh…love Swensen’s bittersweet chocolate milkshakes”. BORING. If it is supposed to represent a newfangled stream of consciousness it would be much more entertaining and compelling if a Lenny Bruce/Sasha Cohen character was to unleash all of their biases, impulsive judgements. At least get some people of ill repute to become early adopters of the service.

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So let’s just put on our imaginary hats and imagine that Doc Brown suddenly landed in his De lorian and whisked us away to several points of time in the past and we magically gave individuals the ability and wifi access to “Twitter” for 24 hours. I know it does not make any sense McFly but just go with it…

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Gold Rush Twitter – from the perspective of a Grizzled prospector

  • Went panning this morning
  • Damn socks are wet…
  • Got a new pickaxe and shovel…traded with a Chinaman
  • Visited brothel….cheap whiskey and easy women….my kind of establishment
  • Beard almost a foot in length…
  • Suspenders getting a little loose
  • Back at brothel again, they have one of those newfangled pianos that plays itself
  • Got me a new six shooter….that Injun’s been eyeing my mule
  • Panning again..if I find me some gold, going to buy a nice house on the prarie and make an honest women of Doreen.

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Medieval Times Twitter – from the perspective of a common serf

  • Just watched third beheading this week in the town square, I heard the executioner is having an affair with the blacksmith’s daughter
  • The stench is really beginning to get to me in the village, which reminds me I have to throw the bucket of my feces out tonight
  • Heard the plague is spreading…maybe my insufferable wife will catch it
  • Supposedly there’s some charlatan named Merlin who can levitate and dates only the finest ladies in court. Has some shtick called “Street Magic”
  • Those knight are so overrated…slaying dragon’s my arse, they’re overpaid egomaniacs with prettier hair than most maidens
  • Sherrif’s coming by to pay taxes, which somebody would rob him like he does me….
  • Thinking of opening a Medieval Times themed restaurant….you know…struggling actors, bad wigs and miller lite.

July 27th Twitter – from the perspective of Mark Chu Cheong

  • Moron…don’t post that Twitter piece…not funny in the slightest..worse idea than Evan Almighty and the new Robin Williams as a priest debacle