More Like American Appall

American Apparel has never been known for conservative — or even decent — conduct, whether it be sleazy advertising campaigns, or the questionably-legal sexploits of its [now former] C.E.O.  The image of promiscuity and flooziness that the brand has built for years shows no signs of wavering either, with their most recent development: a show of solidarity with up-skirters and creeps the world over.

This isn’t exactly what I think of when I imagine “advertising”

The campaign uses the slogan “Your first assignment is to dress appropriately” (perhaps in an intentionally ironic way). The individual ads not only objectify the models, promote stereotypes, and use the tired, shameless tactic of selling things with sex, they do so in one of the strangest and most tasteless ways I’ve ever seen.  Some advertisements finds redeeming qualities in cleverness, emotional resonance, and promotion of progressive ideas/knowledge; American Apparel instead seems interested in showing skin, and lots of it…  Aren’t they a clothing brand?


Source: Brit agency bans American Apparel’s ‘sexually explicit’ ad. (2014, September 3). Retrieved September 4, 2014, from

4 thoughts on “More Like American Appall

  1. In advertising, sex sells. And I guess American Apparel is trying to take a different approach from other brands like Topshop and Forever21. For example, Topshop is almost high fashion chic, Forever21 has an image of being young and free, Urban Outfitters is taking on the hipster approach where else AA wants a different image of their own- trashy sexy (i guess). By showing racy pictures like those on the AA website and social media not only capture attention, they become a topic to talk about. It is not quite a porno so I guess is not much of a controversy, just an advertising strategy.


    • I like how AA tries to reach out to the more “free” characters. However, this is not the way to reach their target audience. Overpriced clothes that show off a lot of skin seem like a hypocritical approach to branding. American Apparel prides itself on being a completely different brand than other clothing businesses. This is just another way for them to stand out of the crowd and get people talking. The unfortunate this is across the country people are falling into their advertising ideals and start believing that this type of behavior is ok, even glorified.


  2. American Apparel is known notably for many moralistic approaches to their business. They compensate their employees fairly (above minimum wage), their factories are American based and they promote their “Sweatshop Free” mantra quite proudly. While these practices are commendable, and more than most companies can say, I think they fall incredibly short of the mostly high standards they hold for themselves when it comes to advertising and social media. I am a steadfast shopper at stores like Anthropologie, Urban Outfitters, and brands of the like; I think I’m in the demographic the AA tries to reach out to but I am so off put by their offensive, sexist, sexually exploitative take on advertising that I have no desire to patronize their stores.


  3. Their ads are always risqué but it doesn’t stop me from shopping there. It is an interesting point that they go out of their way to have morals in everything else about their brand, but the advertisements they produce are the polar opposite.


Leave a Reply

Please log in using one of these methods to post your comment: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s