[Marxism] That Time Zizek Wrote for Abercrombie & Fitch :: Critical-Theory.com
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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
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
By STEVEN GREENHOUSE
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
Poseurs Paradise! What's it really like to work at the new Abercrombie &
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
"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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