Monday, August 11, 2008

AA is getting ripped off left, right and centre.


Most of us unanimously agree that fashions are formed on the streets, not the catwalks.
Scrolling through images from a new season of collections will usually produce a few "hey!" moments, when you notice designers channeling a look that has long been a cult hit, rattling around on the streets.

“Bodysuits” have hit the shelves along with the new fall ranges at topshop and asos that seem rather familiar, and they smell a little like American Apparel too.

Now, I’m not claiming that AA invented the leotard, but as a company known for it’s speciality in basics and dance-style designs it all seems a little too good coincidental to be true.

Two tone bodycon dresses and tee shirts are also making an appearance in the current H and M stock. As a loyal customer of the native Los Angeles brand, I feel a little peeved, mostly because it’s a brand that I love buying from (genius design aside) because I know that the pieces are produced ethically, where workers are paid decent wages and offered plenty of perks in return from the company, including bonuses, and a chance to share American Apparel’s growing profits.


So when Topshop and H and M amble over, after a piece of the action, with their cheaper prices and questionable means of production, and offer customers cheaper prices than American Apparel, I find myself groaning with frustration.




On the one hand, I tell myself, that it is all about business, and Topshop in particular is always on top of the fashion curve, and this is simply what they’re doing; keeping up and coming up with designs that are in demand. But, is anyone else groaning a childlike “but it’s not fairrr” with images of sweatshops in god-knows-where city drumming out thinning pocket dresses and leotards for a couple of pence a day?

I know, I have mixed a couple of issues for this thought, and I have the tendency to get a little emotional (not boo-hoo, just stressed..) about how the clothes on our high street are made, but it seems relevant in this case, as American Apparel is, unusually, out and proud and sweatshop free.

26 comments:

Rich Hippie said...

this artical is so amzingly true

The Clothes Horse said...

I do like AA policies, but the prices can be so inflated there...

Allure said...

It's terrible. I banned myself from buying something at places like Primark or the like.

Miss Woo said...

Great post. I never buy a High Street copy cat version of AA clothing simply because the material just doesn't feel as good. Though I do second the Clothes Horse, AA prices rise so fast these days!

steelcloset said...

I've said this before, if you take away sweatshop labor, the kids have a good chance to end up in the sex trade. It's not pretty and it probably complicates your fashion decisions.

Cupcakes and Cashmere said...

i'm all about AA...even though their prices are higher, i'm willing to pay it for their respectable policies.

Hailey @ stylesymmetry.com said...

AA is good quality too. I hate the cheapies for sure. Copying designs is never right.

this wheel's on fire said...

i def. agree <3

SJ said...

What steelcloset says is true, and these issues are full of grey areas. However I would simply prefer to buy from AA because of the quality and it is petty but I agree it's frustrating when everyone is trying to steal a piece of the action and cutting their prices.

Love your blog by the way!

girl on the wing said...

Yup... I walked into H&M a few days ago after not having been there in months, and the first thing I noticed was the AA-ness of all the two-tone T's they have in right now.
Even if AA's prices are a teeny bit higher, people who like the brand and its aesthetic will always choose to buy their basics there (I hope). It's got something appealing about it that imitators can't match.

Nay'Chelle said...

AA does have some sky high prices like clothes horse said, but you can't deny where the idea for the lame mini skirts that have been popping up came from. But I would still probably choose AA because of their policy about sweat shops.

SJ said...

oh I just wanna say...if you wanna see how blatantly H&M are copying AA, go to camden. Their new store is a complete rip off even down to the decore of the place.

Héloïse J. said...

i'm feeling you. all we can do is boycott those products. Difficult but possible.

Katie Rosemary said...

See even though some complain about AA's quality and/or price... I'd still prefer to buy from there. Especially if compared to Topshop prices! Although many might try to copy I don't think any can really match the cult status which AA has achieved at this stage.

Juliet said...

I do agree with you on this. Though the thing has an other side, with those cheaper prices many can buy those things that they wouldn't be able to do in bigger prices, forgetting everything else. Though AA isn't THAT much pricier and I think that poor can not afford to buy cheap.

juliet xxx

Chelsea Rae said...

Sometimes I scoff at the prices of AA, but knowing they are produced without using sweatshops is nice. On the other hand, the owner of AA is a total skeeze, or so I've heard. Sweatshops are worse than a shady owner though, so I would still rather buy from AA...

Anonymous said...

I detest AA.

pinup_girl said...

Wow AA seems like an even more respectable brand than I thought. I've always liked their clothes, but there's no store near my home. :(

belle.chantelle said...

That's disgusting. Copying looks from an ethical company. Maybe they should be copying their working conditions before they rip-off their designs.

la petite mademoiselle said...

you are totaly right! i think it is very good of you to post this post! i really like aa and i think the high price is worth it! and the quality is much better

Wendy said...

AA is too expensive for basics and the likes. I can understand why but since not everyone is going to refrain from buying from F21 or Topshop, its just supply and demand.

Anonymous said...

AA may not have sweatshops but they promote an oversexualized campaign with youth also The founder of American Apparel, Dov Charney, is being accused of vile language and acts by a former employee.

In the civil sexual harassment case, which begins in Los Angeles tomorrow, ex-American Apparel employee Mary Nelson charges that Charney once had a meeting with her wearing only a strategically placed sock, invited her to perform lewd acts with him, and then fired her when he learned she planned to meet with a lawyer. Already, Charney has admitted during a deposition to walking around his office wearing only American Apparel-made underwear, sleeping with employees, and referring to women in derogatory terms. Talk about a class act!

AA PRICES ARE TOO HIGH AND WHAT MAKES YOU THINK THEY ARE THE ONES COMING UP WITH THESE LOOKS? ALL THESE LOOKS HAVE BEEN DONE BEFORE. THEY ARENT CREATING ANYTHING NEW. PLUS IT COSTS THEM LIKE A DOLLAR TO MANUFACTURE A TEE AND THEY CHARGE YOU MINDLESS PEOPLE 30! TRULY SAD

dolly said...

Dov Charney really does seem fairly loathsome, and AA's aesthetic is horribly sleazy.

Plus the ethical credentials depend on how ethical you think it is to criminalise union activity - it's illegal to do that in Europe, btw, because it goes against basic human rights, but evidently Charney is able to get away with it in LA because freedom of association is not seen as fundamentally important. Sad.

Anonymous said...

AA is kinda hypocritical dont u think tho.
ethical trading versus sexual harrassment.
its wierd.

a. said...

this sucks.

x

Chus said...

This is what I think: Dov Chaney