Through first-hand experience, Asians who like sporting over-priced brand names tend to go for A&F, Hollister, or AE. Take a minute and think about your wardrobe – do you own at least one article of these clothing brands?
Try walking into one of these stores especially during Holiday sales, and you’ll see Asians swarming everywhere – trying on clothes left and right. What’s behind this beachy, white-washed clothing trend that continues to gain precedence day after day? It has even outlasted the Roxy, Hurley, Billabong, and Volcom craze. At this moment, you’ll probably find more Asian teens (especially in high school working part-time jobs) buying clothes from these brands.
Here are some social reasons. Many kids wear it at school, so you might want to try out the trend as well. The media or celebrities can set the trend. These brands are also not cheap, so the middle class Asian would have to go out of his or her way to intentionally buy and wear these brands. Back then, not every parent could afford these brands for their kids, so the kids who wore them might have believed themselves unique, special, or part of a higher class.
In fact, Marker of Affluence is one of the cases where brands have succeeded among American youth. Remember those $2.95 jelly sandal days in the 90s? One popular girl walks in with them, and the next day, 10 more girls must have them, and the next day, almost the entire school is begging their parents to buy them the newest trend. They came in pink, lilac, clear, and glitter.
A&F, Hollister, and AE’s availability and presence in almost all big malls play another role in rubbing onto not just White and Asian people but people of all races. Even if an Asian does not want to follow the trend, they might be tempted or curious to enter these stores to go bargain hunting.
Size is a also a big deal. These stores are not your Old Navy or Gap where clothes fit the average person. These sizes are made for extra-skinny people. This means that Asian people might be able to find sizes that will fit their usually petite bodies and smaller frames. Aside from the fitting style, some Asians simply just like the look. Remember, not all Asians fall for for these trends and would pay for cheaper clothing that still looks good and fits more with their personal style.
You may have forgotten, but there was once a huge controversy in 2002 when Abercrombie & Fitch came out with T-shirts featuring Asians with slanted-eyes, rice-paddy hats caricatures, and stereotypical phrases. With a long history of these images provoking negative stereotypes about Asians, these T-shirts angered many people and were immediately pulled off shelves. Ironically, Hollister has nothing to do with the mainly agricultural city named Hollister. It began in Ohio and was inspired by the Southern California laid-back, surfer lifestyle.
Remember that AC Boy and AC Girl are simply part of a cultural series of characters that represent and highlights different Asian ethnicities, clothing, and customs and by no means related to or endorsing the negative stereotypes of the past.
Last 5 posts by Justin
- #70 Nice Guys - May 1st, 2008