[Marxism] That Time Zizek Wrote for Abercrombie & Fitch :: Critical-Theory.com

Louis Proyect lnp3 at panix.com
Thu Jan 16 08:15:55 MST 2014


That Time Zizek Wrote for Abercrombie & Fitch

March 19th, 2013  |  by Eugene. Published in Theory and Theorists	

Slovenian critical theorist Slavoj Zizek isn’t always spending his spare 
time marrying Argentine models or psychoanalyzing toilets. Back in the 
day, the philosopher also found time to write ads in Abercrombie & 
Fitch’s “Back to School” catalog.

At one point, Abercrombie & Fitch was trying to appeal to 14-year-old 
douchebags by publishing soft core porn under the auspices of product 
catalogs. At another point, Abercrombie & Fitch decided to try a 
permutation of softcore porn and Slavoj Zizek’s rambling. The results 
are amazing.

A PDF of the catalog was spotted on The New Yorker today. The full 
catalog is available for free here (NSFW).


NY Times June 17, 2003
Clothing Chain Accused of Discrimination

Abercrombie & Fitch, the clothing retailer that appeals to the college 
set with blond-haired, blue-eyed models, was sued yesterday for racial 
discrimination, accused of favoring whites for its sales floor jobs.

The lawsuit, filed in Federal District Court in San Francisco, charges 
that Abercrombie discriminates against Hispanics, Asians and blacks in 
its hiring as it seeks to project what the company calls the "classic 
American" look.



Poseurs Paradise! What's it really like to work at the new Abercrombie & 
Fitch store?

Two young, shirtless men in low-slung jeans greet you at the door. Disco 
music pounds out, the air is full of a sickly sweet scent and it is so 
dark, customers get lost and panic. This is shopping Abercrombie & Fitch 
style. Savile Row will never be the same.

I've been working undercover there after I took a job as an in-store 
model at the multi-billion dollar U.S. clothing company's new London 
store - their first venture into Europe.

My aim was to report from the inside. It happened by chance. You don't 
see many Canadian woman in turquoise wellies on public transport in 
London, so I had already noticed the store's talent scout when she 
noticed me, at a London Tube station. I was curious. So was she.

"You've got just the right look to come and work for Abercrombie & 
Fitch" she told me. I was taken aback, flattered, but had no idea what 
she meant.

"Fantastic" I replied. Abercrombie & Fitch? The name rang a bell. 
Shortbread? Why would a biscuit firm want to employ me?

She explained that Abercrombie & Fitch was a clothing store and that 
they were hiring "models"

to "just hang out" around the shop, wearing the company's clothing.

The penny dropped. I'd seen those risque; posters of a muscular man with 
a builder's bottom adorning London buses. I knew this homoerotic 
campaign has caused a stir.

This, I realised, was the American chain whose use of blatant sex to 
market their U.S. preppy style has attracted critics as well as custom. 
They promise a store full of "gorgeous kids".

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