Saturday, May 10, 2008

Macy's Fashionista Détournement

Another picture set for the Détournement Gallery. These Macy's ads were found by a friend of mine who was browsing through the fashion annual in the Seattle's The Stranger. The issue featured articles about socially-conscious alternative clothing styles interspersed with full-page Macy's détournements. Have a look see -

This is how Macy's and the other big US retailers marked Earth Day, by using the holiday to market its products. And when you buy their earthy hippie necklaces, you get a nice little plastic baggy with it that's forged out of petroleum and takes over a hundred years to break down in a landfill, and you aren't allowed to leave the store without one. That's the magic of Macy's!

Macy's is a champion of social consciousness issues, like gay rights, for example. Which is why when pressured by angry anti-gay activists who opposed their "rainbow" mannequins in Boston, Macy's management quickly stuffed them in the closet. A real slap in the face to Seattle's gay community on Capitol Hill, where most of the featured fashionistas in The Stranger's Fashion Annual were from.

You see, when you buy these high heels you're actually participating in a democratic society because every dollar is a vote, and every vote counts. Also, did you know that when you buy Macy's "faux fur" you may really be buying dog fur? The vertical production chain is so mysterious nobody is ever really sure what they're paying for and where it comes from.

Several years ago there were no Macy's in the Northwest. We had a local retail clothing boutique line called The Bon Marché. That clothing line sprang up after World War II, during the post-war consumer expansion. In 2003 The Bon Marché was bought by Federated, the company that now owns Macy's, and changed the name to "Bon-Macy's". And since 2005 they're all "Macy's". So power to the bosses!

As Seattleites are aware, Macy's prefers non-union workers over unionized ones in its textile factories. Students from UW protested at a Seattle Macy's for busting Guatemalan unions last October. In Mexico, Macy's-hired clothing makers work 24-hour shifts and 5,000 of them were fired when they attempted to organize. You can read more about Macy's fashionista social consciousness on Co-op America.

Or maybe just give 'em a peace of lead.

Buy shoes, support the revolution.

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