American Apparel. Love them or hate them, they are a certainly a cutting-edge retailer, hugely popular with young people.
When someone alerted me to a T-shirt based on artwork by Petra Collins, I must admit I was torn. After all, here is a hip Toronto-based artist working as part of an all-female online platform known as The Ardorous.
According to AA's site, Collins began merging her love of fashion and design at the age of 15 as an employee in the store. Imagine the thrill for the young entrepreneur, now 20, to find her designs "exploring female sexuality and teen girl culture" finding their way onto T-shirts.
Better still, half of the proceeds of sales go directly to artists. No sweatshops here.
On the face of it, The Ardorous screams girl power, and yet, the actual products kind of sadden me. I mean, Period Power. Seriously? At first glance the image looks, eh, like an exercise in self-pleasing. Then just grotesque.
Another features a teenage girl with the word 'LOSER' emblazed on her T-shirt. Not to mention the one which mimics the effect of a wet T-shirt...
But beyond this line, many other Tees by American Apparel are in questionable taste. Like the one of an incredibly phallic ice lolly making its way into an open mouth.
Is a T-shirt always just a T-shirt, or are some of AA's designs too risque, given the brand's niche market?
Would you let your daughter (or son) wear one of these designs? Spill it.