American Apparel Goes Native.

It seems that being white and hip was simply not enough for skeevy American Apparel CEO Dov Charney. At some point, they always go “native.” By native, I mean usually appropriating some form of Black culture when being just plain ole white becomes too, dully. Until a few years ago, hip-hop culture was the choice way to throw off the doldrums of whiteness–from “ghetto and gangsta” themed frat parties, and “hoochie and ho” nights at hipster bars in Brooklyn’s Williamsburg, and rasta and afro costumes at Halloween.

But with Madonna and Brangelina adopting African children,  Bono’s Jesus complex, and the Gap’s wasteful Red campaign, who needs hip-hop to escape whiteness? Hip-hop is way too American and co-opted now, you can just go straight to the source! And if you can’t afford a safari, or a child, you can get an ensemble from American Apparel’s Afrika collection–leggings and a top with some kinda busy-ass print from what part of Africa I don’t know. But who cares? Who needs specificity for mass consumption? (Dripping sarcasm.)

3 thoughts on “American Apparel Goes Native.

  1. I enjoy your blog. Found it while googling through images of “Black artists” who live in Brooklyn. As for that image above, blonde hair and African prints don’t mix well. It doesn’t look stylish, just messy and rather forced–like ocean blue contacts on most Black folk. And you are correct to note that the image lacks authentic African flavor. While it is a designer’s right to be creative, they must realize that what they are creating NOW could never match the beauty that was designed over thousands of years of noncommercial artistry.

  2. I’m thrilled to find another blog commenting about this (I first heard about this new line on feministing) This shit is just disgustingly racist and sexist. Aftica=skinny white chick wearing zebra prints and non-descript tribal print. How exotic. And ethnocentric.

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