Lame Adventure 405: Window Undressing

Now that the holiday season is long gone, but Valentine’s Day is soon approaching, store windows are going in the hearts, flowers, candy, lingerie and pubic hair direction. Yes, you read that correctly. According to my pal, Coco, sheer lingerie over shag carpeting can be seen on display right now in the window of a downtown American Apparel store. You want proof, here it is.

The thinker.

The thinker.

Flaunting the furry friend.

Flaunting the furry friend.

Me: Hey, is that American Apparel store near a school? And I don’t mean NYUseless.

According to Coco, this display is at a store located on Manhattan’s Lower East Side on East Houston and Orchard Street.

Coco: It’s an American Apparel people pass on their way for pastrami or methadone.

Me: Well that’s comforting.

American Apparel is a clothing manufacturer, wholesaler and retailer that Dov Charney founded in 1989 when he was 20. On a positive note, all of the clothes are made in the USA. On the gag note, Charney has spearheaded several sleazy ad campaigns featuring scantily clad barely legal looking young women. These windows are not much of a surprise considering this company’s provocative style of marketing is a drooling horn dog’s paradise. Even if you’re not a drooling horn dog, when you see these ads, it’s easy to give them a double take before rinsing your eyeballs with bleach. Charney’s been hit with several sexual harassment suits from former employees. Five years ago, the company settled a $10 million lawsuit from Woody Allen to the tune of $5 million. Allen was incensed that Charney used images of him dressed like a rabbi from the film “Annie Hall” in one of his ads.

I suspect that most New Yorkers walking down the street who glimpse the sight of these mannequins in see-through underwear and retro 70s-era spectacles, reminiscent of the ones I wore in my sophomore year of high school, will follow Coco’s lead: guffaw, giggle and whip out their camera phones. But will they be compelled to enter the store to buy this underwear to model privately for their Valentine’s Day loves? Coco does not think a display of pubes is enough enticement to encourage smart shoppers to drop $25 on a pair of barely visible knickers. She walked on, but she did share a few other observations.

Coco: By the way, American Apparel is the first to have mannequins with nips. I don’t know what the bush is, but I think it’s related to Brillo.

Maybe it’s sold separately?

Attention whores.

American Apparel attention whores.

About these ads

93 responses to “Lame Adventure 405: Window Undressing

  1. I really don’t know what to say about this… it is gross and comical all at the same time. I would be mortified to be walking down the street with my daughters and stumble upon this display of brillo.

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  2. Okay that made my return to work bearable. Like in Furbears. I know I have successfully fought the urge to so the Bro-zilian but I thought most if not all of hip young America was sporting the Telly Savalas (to borrow from an Aniston-Vaughn venture of a few years back).

    Saw nips on Nipponese mannequins in 1984 in Tokyo. Interesting cuz that’s a culture that airbrushes or simply blocks pubic hair in its media.

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    • Nips yea, pubes nay — who knew? Well, you. Thank you for adding to the educational component of this site. What exactly is a Bro-zillian? Is that the waxing of a pair of intimate man-parts or the carpet covering the back? As my bud, Martini Max, once educated me on being a human male, the hair you guys lose on your heads transitions and grows out of your backs.

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      • I believe the Bro-zilian refers to the twig and berries section. Re back hair, many a kid would ask their parents, “Why is John’s dad wearing a sweater at the pool today? It’s gotta be 92 degrees.”

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  3. Um….I guess this is the next logical step in our total annihilation?

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  4. ick… What’s fun is taking your 3-year-old grandson through a mall and showing him mannequins with no heads, chopped-in-half-heads, blue heads… Showing him pubic hair? Not so much.

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  5. I need to get in on this merkin business. I have plenty of extra hair. “You pluck ‘em, we muff ‘em!”

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  6. What will they think of next? I agree with Audra. It’s gross!

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  7. Snoring Dog Studio

    I’m horrified. There are marketing folks out there who live to be tantalizing and controversial. I wonder how many NYers fell in love with these two girls. A different version of “Her.”

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  8. Mae West was famous for saying, “Is that a banana in your pants, or are you just happy to see me?” I suppose Groucho Marx would have replied, “Is that a beaver in your briefs, or has Groundhog Day come early this year?”

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  9. I agree with unfetteredbs above “… it is gross and comical all at the same time…” I did find myself LOL.

    Is speaker7 right? Is it like getting that special photo at the edge of the cliff. ‘Step back just a little. You aren’t all in it. Just a tiny bit mo…. OH CRAP!’

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  10. This just seems like such a desperate attempt to get attention. On a side note, I had a student write pubic instead of public in a paper. It wasn’t just once, but throughout the entire 10 page paper. Gotta be careful with spell check.

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    • TB, are you familiar with American Apparel’s ad campaigns? They are the definition of a desperate attempt to get attention and seem to be highly successful in achieving that goal. Your student’s misspelling brings to mind one of my favorite episodes of Larry David’s HBO series, “Curb Your Enthusiasm” involving the death of his wife’s dear aunt. Larry wrote the obituary, but there was a typo throughout where the “a” in aunt was replaced with a “c”.

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      • I can’t remember American Apparel that well. Probably a good thing. I love the “typo”

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        • It was a very entertaining episode of Curb, right up there with his take on “The Passion of the Christ”. Milton HATES Larry David though. He thinks he’s an insufferable jerk. He’s probably right, but I guess I’m just more easily amused with this brand of idiocy. Or maybe I just relate.

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  11. I thought getting a Brazilian was the trend. That looks like a throw back to another decade. If it’s raising your eyebrow, it must hearing screams from others. Yowza.

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  12. It looks like there may just be a future in modeling for me yet. hahahahaa (oooh my)

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  13. Okay, V, this is a definite first! And in all the W.R.O.N.G. ways! Holy shit. This would be a total hoot, except that it’s not. Seriously, I have NOW seen it ALL—LITERALLY!

    Hugs from Ecuador,
    Kathy

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    • Yeah, considering that it’s a cold and snowy day here in the Apple, Cathy, maybe the time is here to start wearing more insulation? On second thought, maybe not. That might set off my cat allergies.

      Hugs back from the Apple,
      V

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  14. First…..HAHAHAHAHA
    Second, as the mother of two teenage girls American Apparel is a conundrum for me. I like that the clothes are made in the U.S. They also have a ton of really cute, not whore like clothes. Brigid just got her dress for the winter formal there. But all the marketing/advertising directed at my girls’ demographic is soft core porn and I hate it.
    And C, why in the WORLD would this sort of “modeling”, what do you call it? Cause anyone to buy anything????

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    • Maybe a certain demographic would be compelled to enter in search of more similar displays, such as the male counterpart? Good luck finding that there. I don’t have the impression that the fellas are on Dov’s mind. Your daughter’s are close to my niece’s age (19). I think if Sweet Pea ever shopped there, she’d chase the visit with a shower.

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  15. I’m with Maggie O’C….HAHAHAHAHAHA
    Next ~ W.T.F. ~ why?
    The only good thing about this whole issue is your post and the ensuing comments. Thanks (yet again) for today’s LOL moments! :-)

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    • Well, this display has us talking about American Apparel. Even those mannequins were especially made in the land of the red, white and very blue purposely for that display. Somehow, Patricia, I don’t think this being “made in the USA” is going to make many flag-wavers cheer. But a few might giggle in-between gagging.

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  16. American Apparel does know how to get attention with their ads! I thought the whole purpose of this recent run was a commentary on how the masses are sold on the belief that hair is only acceptable on a person’s head. I think North Americans are the most brain-washed, snickering when we see European women who don’t shave their pits. I think it should be a personal choice rather than something we do because the razor and beauty industries have infiltrated our brains. I was going to say what I do, but I really do think it’s personal! The American Apparel ads seem to me to be slightly x-rated, in the same way anatomically correct male mannequins sporting see through undies would be. I guess I’m just a prude at heart.

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    • One’s private bits grooming choice is indeed personal, Terri. Until a plumber gets involved. As a woman of Southern(ish) European descent with thick dark hair I have suffered the memorable humiliation of that personal experience, too. But I learned a valuable life lesson: trim regularly with a hedge clipper.

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      • I have enough Asian blood that excess hair isn’t really an issue. I was 13 the last time I shaved my legs. I can handle them with 2 minutes and a pair of tweezers! But I still think women should not be pressured into what they chose. Take care not to hurt yourself with the hedge clippers!

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        • Wow, you’re lucky, Terri, considering that you’re now what? 23 (You realize this is how rumors start …). I have 5 o’clock shadow over my entire body by noon. Or hairy noon in my world.

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  17. Eek!
    I can’t believe it’s Valentine’s again already!
    If those displays were in the UK, LA, they’d probably be forced to wrap a plastic modesty cover around the outside of the shop window… although I have a feeling they wouldn’t display anything quite so retro over here.

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  18. I don’t think this is such a big deal, really. You know, I joke around a lot, but I think the human body is pretty beautiful in all its shapes and forms. It bothers me some that nudity has become so sexualized. I read a “Dear Abby” type thing once where a person wrote in to say that her daughter accidentally saw their elderly male neighbor sunbathing nude in his own fenced-in back yard AND SHE DIDN’T KNOW WHAT DO DO!

    We’re a funny species.

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    • A few years ago, Smak, Milton and I saw a performance art piece written and directed by one of our favorite playwrights, Young Jean Lee, called Untitled Feminist Project. Seven women performed several expressive dances against various video backdrops. To get you in the mood of the piece they divided into two groups and descended down two staircases bookending the audience. Together, they were breathing loudly, rhythmically, almost hypnotically. This eased you into the fact that they were all naked and all different sizes. They performed the entire show in the nude. It was never sexy, but it was exhilarating. At the curtain call, they all came out clothed. At that point, seeing them dressed was jarring. It was a very cool show. This did not have a single iota of Dov Charney hucksterism. It was real thing art. I loved it, but Milton said of the more zaftig types, and some were uber zaftig, “I should tear off my shirt and call myself Clark Gable!”

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  19. When they start showing stretch marks and saggy boobs, then I’ll believe they are portraying the natural beauty of real women ;)

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  20. As an apparent 90 year old lady, I don’t think those garments suit my industrial needs. Most of my underwear is best described as sturdy. As for the Brillo hair; I am going to jump on that bandwagon so hard. I embrace any trend that allows to to neglect personal grooming. They leading the charge on that particular zeitgeist.

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    • Gotta say, RG, having the honor of having met you, and the personable Mr. Giraffe, I must say that you wear your years remarkably well. You barely look a day over 30 to me. As for which way to go with one’s intimate grooming habits, this could be a topic of great musing and debate. Or minimal musing and debate particularly if a foot of snow fell in one’s neighborhood overnight and you left your apartment window open so started the day doing massive interior clean up.

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  21. This is one thing you’d never see at a store on the Upper East Side.

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  22. I’m going against the grain to many, thus saying this mannequins have a degree of hotness.

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  23. Sounds like someone desperate for a marketing idea and in great need of attention. :-P

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    • I’m relieved that Cameron Diaz would share her knowledge in an area of expertise that’s her intellectual level, i.e., muff maintenance, rather than saddle us with her opinion about global warming, Big Pharma or how to attain peace in the Middle East.

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  24. It’s almost as much fun to watch the people who take pictures of/with the window display. Some of them do it outright. Some try to be stealthy about it. One of those people didn’t appreciate when I made eye contact and gave them two thumbs up, a la the Fonz.

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    • You’re living on the razor’s edge, taunting New Yorkers as they take pictures. I have noticed that when I take a picture that often prompts others to do the same. I think this is because I wear glasses and that gives the false impression that I’m more intelligent than I am.

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  25. Keepin’ it real in New York, I see. If we all walked around with anatomies like Barbie, maybe the history of mannequins would have been different. Still: we’ve come a long way from wickerwork figures in 1830s Paris.

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    • But no doubt, Kate, there were some folk that relished glimpsing the wickerwork figures in the altogether, probably the ancestors of whoever custom designed these strategically pelted figurines for American Apparel.

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  26. The razor’s edge — or not. If you wait long enough, you won’t have to make a decision. When you get old, all that hair falls out, anyway.

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  27. writerwendyreid

    Hahaha. It’s not the sheer fabric that I find eerie, it’s the vagina from the 80’s that freaks me out a little. Yuck. :-p

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  28. This is odd, amusing, and (as you say) ick. If they need to sport such sprouts to display their wears, where is the au natural armpit hair?

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