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01-12-2004
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hotpinky's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2004
Location: Oregon
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so i'm writing an article slash column directed at college students. originally, i was going to write about winter fashion trends in this area (oregon, ew), until i went to Abercrombie (where a lot of kids around here shop) and realized that most of their clothes this winter are either super-overplayed trends, or they're last year's styles with slight variations.

so i decided that i'm going to write a satirical column, directed at the college student on a budget, about how you can alter the A&F clothes you got for christmas last year and have the same clothes they have in stores this year (i.e. take the ribbon off your logo shirt, bleach the light blue accents off last year's white polo shirt and have the pure-white ones that are apparently 'in season' this year, color your denim jeans with fabric crayons, still wear last year's UGGS because, according to the sales girls, they're "like totally cool!", etc etc).

any opinions any of you have (preferably negative ) towards A&F would be lovely. and if you don't mind me quoting you, leave your name (first is fine, or you can be anonymous), age, and location (state is fine).

i'll post the column when i'm done!

thanks!

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01-12-2004
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evexa's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2004
Posts: 861
Ahhh A&F, where do I begin.
Donned by every florida debutante I know and generally paired up with silver Tiffany's trinkets, A&F clothing has descended from casual preppy americana to an overhyped, overpriced small-town status symbol.
No style would be complete without a purposefully faded and increasingly garish logo printed across the layered tee's and that all too familiar Moose. Accessorize with your best golden tan, pink ribbon and expensive highlights.
You are all too right about their repetitive collections, subdued colours and shameless lack of originality, any serious fashionista would rather feed A&F to the moose rather than wear it.

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01-12-2004
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evexa's Avatar
 
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Eve Ainsbury
20, Florida (but a London fashion veteran and Ford model)

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01-12-2004
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Join Date: Apr 2004
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that was perfect!! thanks a million... do keep them coming.

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01-12-2004
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Location: New York City
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In the society that is built on insecurity, sameness inevitabley prevails. To be original (whether in thought, action, or appearance) is to be an outcast, and in the world of the uniform suburbia where even the houses look the same it becomes even dangerous - after all, a teenager can only sustain the mockery of the football players and the cheerleaders for so long. It is far easier and safer to accept the image of "the regular guy." Therefore, America needs uniforms. Each strata of the American society has their own uniforms; Wall street has the blandly colored suits and ties, suburban highschools and colleges (after all, most colleges are nothing but continuation of highschools) have A&F. But can you really blame these insecure kids that are brought up in the world of kitsch? Hardly. For to start on the road to originality, one must have a choice, and in the American malls there is no choice. And frankly, if I had to choose between A&F and Gap, I'd choose the former. Yet, I don't want to end this on a positive note and shift the blame to the heartless corporate America that damages poor children with advertising and silly (but effective) media, because there is always a choice. The scales are tipped yes, but the farther they are tipped the more exciting the challenge to be original (which is ultimately the challenge to be self and not the image of self) becomes.

Hmm, that started out sarcastic but ended seriously... like all of my writing. Oh, well Put me down as Alex Pushkin (not that your average college kids will know who he is anyway), 27, NYC.

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01-12-2004
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Join Date: Apr 2004
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faust - wise words - I relate!

But its not just america. People who are different live and die on the edge of society. Whilst I think you are correct, to be different is a challenge we should embrace (and I certainly try), I also think that for some people to be different is ultimately their destruction. Sometimes a uniform can help these people be accepted. For some people acceptance is all they want in life.....

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01-12-2004
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Luna's Avatar
 
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Clothing for yuppies in training.

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01-12-2004
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Faust, I just wanted to expand and pose some more questions (mainly for the sake of the discussion). I agree with you but I suppose I am thinking about one particular person today whose story is by no means unique.

I was at school with a boy who had a hole in his heart and because of this his growth was stunted and he was outcast by his classmates as a freak & was bullied (& had no friends). As his family was poor he wore handknitted jumpers & second hand clothes so he was also teased for this as well as being small. However he was talented at art & at music - he could draw amazing pencil drawings that noone else could draw.

As he grew up he became more & more isolated & alone. At high shool his talents weren't really recognised & he never made much of his education. He left school, & after that I never really heard much of him for years other than that he no longer spoke to his parents.

Yesterday I was told me that he was found dead in his flat having choked on his own vomit in an alcoholic stupor. He lived & died completely alone.

Although this is a very specific story of one boy, are these themes not ones which apply to many people in life who don't receive mainstream acceptance? Of course you are right to suggest that it takes a stronger person to swim against the tide of popular opinion &, of course that is to be applauded, but what about those weak people who don't have the strength of mind to rebel? They just fall by the wayside unless they can find acceptance. If they find that acceptance from a harmless thing like an A&F sweatshirt then is that so wrong? Maybe not, but I don't know if thats the way to look at it.

there is a bigger issue here, one which I think is a fundamental human frailty. That is, the need most people have to belong to something. The need to be part of a coherent, identifyable group. This need both keeps society together but also prevents us from living harmoniously with those who are different from the group.

[Back on topic however,] this frailty is manipulated by the marketeers and advertisers but my question is - for some people is it not a good thing that they can buy acceptance in a Mall? Maybe ultimately it saves them....

You'll appreciate I am playing devils advocate here to an extent.

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01-12-2004
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this is such a good and valid discussion that has developed...but i am afraid it's not going to help hotpinky with his article...

i love both sides of this argument...if you can call it that...
i experience this very directly every day of my life...the one year that i really tried to conform and got a job at a mainstream american magazine almost killed me...literally...i fell into a very deep depression and saw no way out...even though it would have been just so easy to quit...somehow it always seems impossible when you are in it...

i live in the margins...and i fight for my individuality...but there is that part of me that knows that i will never be part of a certain group...i don't like them and they don't like me...and that's is the way it will always be... i sometimes wish to be part of a group...but usually it's more like 'groups'...because i have such a wide array of interests...i have many different people in my life who fulfill different roles...

helena...i wish it was as easy as buying a sweatshirt...but the truth is...if that sweatshirt does not express who you really are...then you are not really being accepted by the group..and in your heart you will always know this and you will always feel that emptiness... better to be yourself and let other likeminded people find you...then you will feel truly loved...IMHO...

just look at how we have found each other here at tfs...

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01-12-2004
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This is making me want to keep the small jacket!

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01-12-2004
  11
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hey johnny...i kept the witch-y shoes...
and i am wearing them to death...and guess what?...
everyone who sees me is falling over themsleves about the shoes...
sometimes before they even say hi, they say omg...i LOVE your shoes...
go figure...!!LOL

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01-12-2004
  12
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maybe because i don't live in a suburb and am not in hs...i actually think abercrombie has some cute stuff...

but i also hardly ever go in so i wouldn't see the repeated styles...

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01-12-2004
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I'm afraid I can't say anything particularly witty here, but I do remember buying my first shirt from them... I was so proud of it too. We went down to the States, to visit an art gallery for a day trip and stopped by a shopping mall. I was in my mid-teens at the time and was so impressed with all of the different labels. We went into Abercrombie & Fitch, which honestly seemed very new and different to me. It had this huge chandelier made of antlers, that now seems quite gross to me, and it was a pretty big store. I bought a single pale green shirt which cost me nearly fourty dollars.
As much as everyone here sees the label as now being very common, it really wasn't at my high school. When I came back with that one shirt, I started paying more attention to other people who had them as well. Yes, I'm being totally and horribly honest here... There was a girl in one of my classes who also wore the label. She was so incredibly polished, and very blond and seemed to have quite a lot of money. I remember that she ended up dating one of the faintly stupid, but good-looking boys from my art class. Anyway, one of the major moments of my high school trying-to-be-cool phase was when I spoke to her in class one day, because we both had clothing from that label. "Oh... Ambercrombie and Fitch... Great label, eh? Pity it's not available here." Trying so very, very hard. It didn't work and I got over that phase, but there's my pathetic but honest little story.

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01-12-2004
  14
Naturellement pulpeuse
 
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My bar is displaying A&F ads now. (the ads have finally caught up with me). Damn this thread!

In England A&F is an odd concept - the English upper-middle-class spend most of their teenage years trying to pretend they're poor, IMI...

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01-12-2004
  15
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i'm glad you're over that phase now purple...
thx for sharing...

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