American Apparel slapped us with a racial reality last week. Paisas are a fashion commodity and play the role of an accessory for young white models. Their round brown faces and humble character tap into the sympathies of consumers to purchase AA products. They dressed up this Paisa “model” in AA to ignite a sense of solidarity with actual AA consumers. One may ask: “You mean if I wear American Apparel I can be in solidarity with brown Spanish speaking immigrants without ever having to actually touch one?” Well, to answer that question, No. A farmworker cannot afford to clothe himself in AA. I am not going to lie, Men like my father, a Paisa from Durango, Mexico got major swag and fashionistas are tapping in but even when Paisas come up and got the capital they ain’t buying American Apparel. They got their own thang going on and AA hipsters wish they had access to it. Sorry American Apparel.
– Arlene Mejorado