We're the ones your mother warned your about...No, seriously. We are.

See, the thing to remember is that it's not soft porn - it's "Merchandising"

Am....I the only one that's looked at Abercombie & Fitch lately?

Oh. My.

They're not listed as a porn store...why, again?

I mean, really. I live in LA - land of half naked beautiful people. I even work in a lingerie department where we've had to actually ask customers to leave because they were making out on the floor and there were hands up skirts in public in ways that....well...should anyone's hand really be up anyone's skirt in public? No, no, not really. At least, not in a mall at 3:30 in the afternoon on a Saturday. (what y'all do, when you're not on my bandwidth....I really think we're better not going there....)

Yet, on any given Saturday, right next to us is Abercrombie & Fitch, where you can get anything from employees acting as models by simply standing out in front of the store in, ya know, their underwear (and I'm serious - these kids just...stand there for eight hours. I see that, and I can't help but wonder - aren't they cold?) - to having two guys who are, undeniably vying for the spot of Next Greek God playing catch with a football wearing nothing but boxers. In all honesty, A&F is a bit of a joke to everyone that works in the mall - it's the store you look at and laugh a little, because while noone really says it, everyone knows the deal - if you're not trying to be a model when you grow up, don't even apply to work there, and if you do work there, buy earplugs, or the volume of the music will render you deaf by the time you pick up your first paycheck. I think the real kicker though, was when A&F closed down thier kids' store on the second level, and the manager came over to find out if we hired under 18 - it seems he had a couple of sixteen year olds that were out of a job now, because you can't work on the adult floor of A&F if you're under the age of 18, since their quarterly is considered adult material. That's right folks, their catalogues have the same classification as, say, PlayBoy. Yet they are, it would seem, okay with that.

So when PDR mentioned in passing that someone had told him he dressed very Abercrombie and Fitch, but he didn't know what that meant (A&F hasn't hit the UK yet), I laughed and went to pass along the link to their site. Now, A&F is something that you know is there, but really, I never honestly paid attention to, simply because there's no way on the gods' good green earth that I was going to pay $50 for a skirt that would barely cover my butt, even if they by some miracle even had my size, so I really hadn't looked at their site or their quarterly.

Which made for some interesting revelations when I grabbed the url for PDR. It turned out to supply fun and snark not only for a good part of my work afternoon, but later on that evening as well. I was originally going to try to write an actual article, but really, the original material is better than I could improve on.

The following is actually the first time PDR & I ever talked on AIM, so it's rather amusing that we hit upon an ND.com piece during the inaugural voyage....

Claris: See, it's like Abercrombie & Fitch over here in the States. The one in our mall literally pays models to stand about half naked outside their store & play football. (We're an outdoor mall)
PDR: Exactly. It's cheesy. Glasgow is a real city, in Scotland, full of scots. You might get a bagpiper busking, sure - it's Scotland! You might also get a Patagonian Oompah band - because it's a big city. It's a real city - in Edinburgh, the Patagonian Oompah band would be moved on, because they're not Scottish enough.
Claris: *laughter*
PDR: Abercrombie & Fitch we don't have over here - but EverDawn once told me I 'dress Abercrombie & Fitch'.
I didn't know what the store was like, but I've never been so insulted. I dress like me, thanks! ;-)
I'm wearing a Pancakes for Pinkos sweatshirt with Lenin on the back saying 'Pancakes, vanguard of the Proletariat' - don't tell me I'm typical... ;-)
Claris: *laughter8 It means you're a bit of a preppy at times.
PDR: Yeah - we don't really have that description over here. I know what it means, but we don't use it.
Claris: http://www.abercrombieandfitch.com/
PDR: I don't know if she'd say that now, to be fair, since she's met me more often, and also knows more about just how British fashion is a bit different.
Claris: It also possibly means you might walk about half-naked sometimes as well.
PDR: Well, clearly.
Claris: Holy shit. I hdn't seen their page in quite a bit.
PDR: It's just a naked man.
PDR: That's a brave statement for a clothing company.
Claris: wait'll you get to the girl
PDR: 'You're going to look better naked than in our clothes.'
Claris: heh
PDR: Uh... You didn't happen to direct me to a porn site, didja?
PDR: What's with the naked chick?
I mean, she's lovely, but she doesn't come free with every shirt or anything, right?
Claris: Yah. THAT is A&F. you see why I work at the Snap instead.
Claris: I'm afriad not, no.
PDR: Exploiting Philippino sweatshops more your style...? ;-)
Claris: Their quarterly catalog is considered adult material, which is whyno one under 18 can work in their adult clothing sections
Claris: *shrug* at least the Phillipino kids have clothes on, dude.
PDR: Very true.
A&F might branch into nude Philippino sweatshops any day.
PDR: I'm quite amazed here actually. She's nude.
That's not the amazing thing.
I just can't figure out why.
Claris: They're getting away with it, is what's amazing
PDR: They really are.
Claris: DUDE. they TOtally are. If you ever come to LA, I'll take you to mall not to be mentioned by name
PDR: I mean - I'm trying to think of the practicalities of it. They're trying to sell clothes, but the models are naked...
Nope. Really not following it.
PDR: What's mall not to be mentioned by name?
Claris: The mall I work at. The one with its own bellhop service @ Christmas time.
Claris: No, I'm not kidding
PDR: You have to come to Britain.
You know - just to see how a sane country works. ;-)
Claris: *laughter*
PDR: I now notice that all the *clothes* are shown on their own - sans model. Which means the models look like they're just stupid. Lots of clothes around, they'd rather be cold.
This website clearly hasn't thought through the message they're broadcasting.
Claris: Heh. Anya says it's not porn. It's soft porn. and she's betting you've seen a naked girl before
PDR: Oh no... never...
Claris: Because you are pure & innocent....*grin*
PDR: Okay - you caught me. I *have* seen a naked girl before. Possibly even more than one.
Claris: Wow. Shocking.
PDR: I know. I suppose you can't speak to me anymore.
Claris: I think I can find it in my heart
PDR: I just figure that anyone who's going to look at that for the porn value is,
a) 12 years old, or
b) really desperately shy, and unable to buy *real* porn
Neither of those strike me as their chosen demographic, given that they're not really likely to be big earners.
PDR: You're very forgiving.

Oh hell yes, there's more...