jeans posts

Sexy 70s Ladies Are The Key July 22nd, 2010


Les Clefs de Tennis, Brussels, Belgium, May 2009


Snap Klip, Portland, OR, July 2010

The aesthetic in both window displays is so clearly dated, it almost excuses the retrograde message. Seriously, using sex appeal to sell keys and key accessories? Grab a decade, retailers of key products in Portland and Brussels!

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ChittahChattah Quickies May 2nd, 2010
  • Consumed – Faux-Authentic Uniforms [NYTimes.com] – The authenticity question is a particularly interesting one to parse. A pair of worn, faded jeans does reflect a history shared by object and owner. For many years now, manufacturers have sold a shortcut to that idea by wearing out and fading jeans before they hit the shelves, by way of a variety of industrial processes (often charging a hefty premium for this outsourcing of the item’s physical past). These Burton pants embrace the worn-denim trope but take it a step further. They’re actually made of a waterproof Gore-Tex fabric and made to look like jeans through “photo sublimation,” according to USA Today: “a photo was taken of a pair of tattered jeans then printed onto the garments via a technical heat process.” So what we have here is a representation of a simulacrum of tattered, faded, authentic pants-with-a-history.
  • Why You Shouldn’t Believe A Company’s Word Lore [NYTimes.com] – By promoting the “sound of the machine” origin for the once-generic kisses, Hershey is engaging in what Kawash calls “strategic corporate forgetting”: “they invent an original story for marketing purposes to make it seem unique to their candy.” Notably, Hershey’s historical whitewash took shape in the late ’90s, just about when the company’s lawyers were beginning an ultimately successful battle to trademark kisses. They didn’t use the story in their legal arguments, but it played right into their efforts to associate kisses uniquely with the Hershey brand. When a company is trying to make its product iconic in the minds of consumers, it doesn’t hurt to inject a pleasant etymological tidbit, no matter how easy it is to disprove.
  • Making Sense of Complexity [NYTimes.com] – Unless the subject is TV remote controls, Americans have a fondness for complexity, for ideas and objects that are hard to understand.We assume complicated products come from sharp, impressive minds, and we understand that complexity is a fancy word for progress….What we need, suggests professor Brenda Zimmerman, is a distinction between the complicated and the complex…Performing hip replacement surgery is complicated. It takes well-trained personnel, precision and carefully calibrated equipment. Running a health care system is complex. It’s filled with thousands of parts and players, all of whom must act within a fluid, unpredictable environment. To run a system that is complex it takes a set of simple principles that guide and shape the system.“We get seduced by the complicated in Western society,” Ms. Zimmerman says. “We’re in awe of it and we pull away from the duty to ask simple questions, which we do whenever we deal with matters that are complex.”
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ChittahChattah Quickies February 24th, 2010
  • chat roulette – a short film by Casey Neistat – Chatroulette is a emergent online phenomena, connecting random people via webcams. Casey acts as participant-observer, experimenting with the service and observing what happens, as well as reflecting on his own feelings about the experience and ruminating about the implications.
  • The worst Olympic uniform [Rob Walker] – If there’s a more pure example of conformity trumping practicality, I can’t think of it. Oh, wait, sure I can: Phony-holed jeans. For years the hollow claims of every marketing guru who insists that consumers “demand authenticity” has been neatly debunked by the success of the high-end “distressed” denim phenomenon. Buying jeans whose wear-and-tear is implemented by far-flung factory workers and machinery, according to specific standards devised and overseen by layers of corporate design-management — and in fact paying extra for such jeans, and pretending that this somehow signals rebel style — is a capitulation to simulacra-culture so Xtreme it would make Debord giggle and Baudrillard weep. Or vice versa. Whatevs.
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Forever in authentic blue jeans February 19th, 2010

Intersting recent ad for Lucky Jeans

Two details of the ad:

I am impressed how the overall aesthetic of the ad just oozes authenticity. There’s real craft and attention to detail, leading to a strong sense of quality. But all these details they are calling out are examples of manufactured fakery: making new jeans look like worn jeans. They’ve taken inauthenticity to such a level of quality that it becomes authentic in its own way!

For more on this theme, see my recent interactions column with Stokes Jones, On Authenticity

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Forever in Blue Jeans August 2nd, 2006

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An interesting piece about Levi’s historian and archivist also mentions that

The Society of American Archivists maintains a directory of 300 to 500 companies with archives. Elizabeth Adkins, director of Ford Motor Co.’s archives and president-elect of the Society of American Archivists, said that some will establish an in-house collection for legal reasons, as well as for public relations and marketing purposes. Others will do it to track the progress of their business over time.

“It helps them to know what’s been tried before, what the brand’s historic strengths are and how to build on it,” Adkins said.

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I’d like to say we’ll do okay March 22nd, 2006

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Design brings more cultural mashups. Al Quds jeans, from Italy, are designed for Muslims.

The bagginess is to ensure the wearer avoids stiffness while bending down repeatedly during prayers. The pockets are for holding all the accessories Muslims have to take off while they worship. And the jeans have green seams – because green is the sacred color of Islam.

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