Does anyone find it a little ironic that Abercrombie & Fitch is putting the 10-foot poll to Jersey Shore's The Situation?
Sure, The Situation is the epitome of spiky-haired sleeze, almost to the point of self-parody. And we wouldn't blame almost any clothier for wanting to distance itself from the implosion of L.A.-based, Jersey Shore-esque brands (Ed Hardy, et. al.) blamed for the contemporary douchapolypse seen in male fashion.
But Abercrombie? It's a label that has fostered Teutonic, androgynous preppyness, almost to a fault. What did they think was going to happen?
And let's be clear here. It's a STREETWEAR label! It's not couture made in Milan, people. Abercrombie makes its cash off selling cheap (and by cheap we mean its costs, not yours), imported t-shirts and jeans to American college 'tards.
Really, The Situation is not good enough to wear your Asian-factory-made t-shirts? Really?
And other brands that have embraced WASPy Americana — Polo, Tommy Hilfiger, Timberland — have been embraced by the most street elements. That's what happens when you try to be the Kraftwerk of men's fashion. Your ass gets sampled and remixed. (Lucky for Kraftwerk, they embraced it).
Not that The Situation is Mr. South Bronx. But he is flipping the script on Abercrombie's bullshit mirage of a white, prep-school nation.
An A&F spokesman states:
We are deeply concerned that Mr. Sorrentino's association with our brand could cause significant damage to our image. We understand that the show is for entertainment purposes, but believe this association is contrary to the aspirational nature of our brand, and may be distressing to many of our fans. We have therefore offered a substantial payment to Michael 'The Situation' Sorrentino and the producers of MTV's The Jersey Shore to have the character wear an alternate brand. We have also extended this offer to other members of the cast, and are urgently waiting a response.
Once again, the company comes to the edge of having a diversity problem. You see, Abercrombie has had issues in the past. Some of you might not remember its Chinese takeout t-shirts emblazoned with a bucktooth depiction of an Asian man. Or some of the discrimination lawsuits it has faced.
You get the picture: It's a company that clearly doesn't mind douches wearing its stuff. As long as they're super-white preppy douches.
It's ironic, because Abercrombie is all marketing, no substance. And its marketing is offensive, if you ask us. Anyone who wears this stuff is a tool. Not just The Situation.
Tell you what, A&F: We'll make sure The Situation stops wearing your Chinese-made finery if you stop selling faux surf wear — Hollister Co., named for a hallowed Southern California surf spot — when you damn well know you don't support surfing and have nothing to do with the roots of the sport. (Try to find a real surfer who wears this crap. Just one).
Would you do that?
Maybe what A&F really needs is a boycott. We would gladly stand by a douche like The Situation over a poseur company like Abercrombie any day. At least in all his gel-crazed glory he's being real.