No Shirts!!!
October 18, 2007 2:03 PM   Subscribe

Improv Everywhere's latest mission: 111 men of all shapes and sizes shop shirtless at the Abercrombie & Fitch store on 5th. Avenue.

Previous Improv Everywhere missions discussed at MetaFilter.
posted by ericb (55 comments total) 5 users marked this as a favorite

 
Looking at the pictures, it looks like 111 men of one shape and size, and one fat dude.
posted by mrnutty at 2:09 PM on October 18, 2007 [1 favorite]


Come on, the little kid wasn't that* fat.
posted by reformedjerk at 2:12 PM on October 18, 2007


I love Improv Everywhere. Something in me wants to hate them, but I love them.
posted by gurple at 2:12 PM on October 18, 2007


"Of course not everyone was as impressed. One guy took a drag off his cigarette and coolly told me, 'They’re all just fat asses who are mad because they couldn’t get a job at Abercrombie.' His friends laughed and snapped photos."
posted by ericb at 2:12 PM on October 18, 2007 [1 favorite]


Flickr photosets - 1, 2, 3 and 4.
posted by ericb at 2:14 PM on October 18, 2007


Everyone wore jeans and a shirt that would be easy to stuff into a pocket.

Whoah, that's even cooler. 111 men, no shirts and giant off-center pants bulges.
posted by gurple at 2:14 PM on October 18, 2007 [5 favorites]


10/17 NEVAR FORGET
posted by Blazecock Pileon at 2:22 PM on October 18, 2007 [1 favorite]


this is great! : >

they're already in big trouble with lawsuits over how they hide people less attractive in backrooms or don't hire them at all (and they treat minorities badly too--to them beautiful is white)
posted by amberglow at 2:29 PM on October 18, 2007 [2 favorites]


and they had already settled a class action suit in 05: ... On April 14, 2005, Judge Susan Illston of the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California granted final approval to a settlement of the class action lawsuit Gonzalez v. Abercrombie & Fitch. The settlement requires the retail clothing giant to pay $40 million dollars to Latino, African American, Asian American and female applicants and employees who charged the company with discrimination. ...
posted by amberglow at 2:31 PM on October 18, 2007


they're already in big trouble with lawsuits over how they hide people less attractive in backrooms or don't hire them at all

As far as I know, it's not illegal to discriminate against unattractive people, although state laws might vary. The acting and modeling industry wouldn't work if it was.
posted by delmoi at 2:40 PM on October 18, 2007


Now I really feel the need to shave/wax my chest to fit in and be in a flash mob.
posted by fijiwriter at 2:41 PM on October 18, 2007 [1 favorite]


As far as I know, it's not illegal to discriminate against unattractive people, although state laws might vary. The acting and modeling industry wouldn't work if it was.
For retail work it is, i believe--and it's not legal to hire based on measurements or sizes in stores except for models--altho it's unofficially done all the time. And to not hire similarly qualified minorities it most certainly is illegal everywhere.
posted by amberglow at 2:52 PM on October 18, 2007


That's it. I'm organizing a mob of 110 other women to go shop shirtless with me at Target.
posted by katillathehun at 2:58 PM on October 18, 2007 [4 favorites]


I just love men. Fabulous.
posted by sugarfish at 3:04 PM on October 18, 2007


I love Improv Everywhere. Something in me wants to hate them, but I love them.

Huh. For me, it's the exact opposite.
posted by 23skidoo at 3:15 PM on October 18, 2007 [3 favorites]


That's it. I'm organizing a mob of 110 other women to go shop shirtless with me at Target.

Make it GameStop, and you have a date!
posted by aftermarketradio at 3:15 PM on October 18, 2007 [1 favorite]


That's it. I'm organizing a mob of 110 other women to go shop shirtless with me at Target.

That's legal here now, but only not-for-profit female toplessness. (i can't find a link to the lawsuit)
posted by amberglow at 3:18 PM on October 18, 2007


(or maybe it was only legal during protests/parades or something?)
posted by amberglow at 3:19 PM on October 18, 2007


Oh my goodness. All those shirtless men. This is wonderful.

/fans self.
posted by CunningLinguist at 3:24 PM on October 18, 2007 [1 favorite]


For retail work it is, i believe--and it's not legal to hire based on measurements or sizes in stores except for models--altho it's unofficially done all the time. And to not hire similarly qualified minorities it most certainly is illegal everywhere.

I'm surprised by this, although for all I know it may be true from a legal point of view. I just don't see why a retail business (or a bar or whomever) shouldn't be allowed to hire attractive applicants to the exclusion of unattractive applicants. Companies certainly do it anyway, all the time, at all levels of employment. As unfair as it can be, it seems to me no stranger than hiring pleasant employees to the exclusion of annoying employees. Besides, in a place of fashion, an attractive clerk can make quite a bit of difference - the comparison to a model or an actor is not out of place.

A&F's love of white people is a problem, of course, and aside from that, I seem to recall the company's CEO as looking like Ron Perlman from Beauty And The Beast. I also bet that A&F could (and should) get in serious trouble for turning down an attractive disabled person.

But as for A&F hiring attractive people to the exclusion of unattractive people, I don't see the issue. Do unattractive people really constitute a protected class? I'm sure it's probably true on some technical level, but I don't get the reasoning.

...

THEN AGAIN WHEN YOU'RE AS HOT AS I AM YOU DON'T SEE A LOT OF THINGS

SUCH AS UGLINESS, WHEN I LOOK IN THE MIRROR

OR A LACK OF FOXY BABES SURROUNDING ME AT ALL TIMES
posted by Sticherbeast at 3:29 PM on October 18, 2007


Restaurants often get around the laws by advertising for "models" instead of waitstaff.
posted by bashos_frog at 3:29 PM on October 18, 2007 [1 favorite]


Remember when these were called flash mobs in 2004? Those were lame then, right? If this had broken out into an orgy, now that'd be improv everywhere.

As an aside, it's pretty disgusting that A&F is hiring shirtless male model greeters. Waiting for the shirtless female model greeters at Victoria's Secret.
posted by mek at 3:30 PM on October 18, 2007 [1 favorite]


I walk by this store every day on my way home from work. The cologne exhales out the open doors and makes the entire block smell like a boydello. And all the tourists take photos with the "models" like they would with Pluto and Donald at Disneyland. It's often really possibly the most obnoxious part of my day.

That guy in the photos? I think about him a lot as I walk past. I want to knock him out and whisk him away from the store by way of a subterranean gondola and liberate him from slavery, and initiate him into a world of true beauty and madness, from which he will emerge forever altered. But I probably won't.
posted by hermitosis at 3:31 PM on October 18, 2007 [6 favorites]


HAY GUYZ IM JUST POSTING TO SAY "MEH."

MEH!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!


(this is awesome)
posted by basicchannel at 3:32 PM on October 18, 2007 [1 favorite]


Great stunt. Here's hoping that women of all shapes & sizes do something similar at Victoria's Secret sometime soon.
posted by UbuRoivas at 3:34 PM on October 18, 2007


Yum.
posted by Nathanial Hörnblowér at 3:41 PM on October 18, 2007


Victoria's Secret actually is good about putting forward a diverse face tho, i think--they do plus-size lines and shows, and they've never had lawsuits over their sales staff hiring, and they've always used models of all races too.

they still do it, Sticher, but they cover it as bashos said, or they're more careful in hiding it than A&F is.
posted by amberglow at 3:42 PM on October 18, 2007


Discrimination against unattractive people? That's legal in Australia, at least. Anti-discrimination law prevents discrimination on the basis of a set list of attributes, eg race, religion, marital status, gender, sexual preference, and so on. "Attractiveness" is not one of them. Nor are other physical features like height, weight, hairstyle etc.

Even "discrimination" on one of the proscribed grounds can be legal, if the attribute is directly related to the requirements of the job - an employer can turn away male applicants for jobs at a topless bar, for example.

It's a bit of a pet hate of mine, when people ignorant of the law yell "discrimination!" whenever a decision is made on some sort of personal basis against them. You have legal & illegal forms of discrimination, and asserting your right to have pink hair or multiple facial piercings in a business environment is generally not going to cut it.
posted by UbuRoivas at 3:44 PM on October 18, 2007


I'm usually a big fan and vocal supporter of anything Improv Everywhere does, but I think for this one I'm just not gonna click the link. Besides the fact that I'm very not interested in downloading pics & vids of a hundred topless guys walking around Abercrombie & Fitch (not that there's anything wrong with that), this indicates to me IE may have already run out of good ideas.

A couple three years ago they organized a similar event where scores of people showed up at a Home Depot in shirts and pants that were roughly the same color as employees who worked there. The customers couldn't tell who actually worked there and who didn't. They didn't do the smocks, but still it was pretty funny.

One of the first gags they ever did was a bunch of people went to the New York subway at the same time not wearing any pants, then at the last stop one guy stepped in holding everyone's pants and sold them for a dollar each. Now THAT was inspired!

A&F shirtless? Meh. Been there done that bought the t-shirt. Color me impressed.
posted by ZachsMind at 3:48 PM on October 18, 2007


Nation's Shirtless, Shoeless March On Washington For Equal-Service Rights [Onion, 2001]
posted by humannaire at 3:49 PM on October 18, 2007


Then later, hours of self-congratulatory celebration. Not so random, that part.
posted by davebush at 3:52 PM on October 18, 2007 [1 favorite]


Previous MeFi thread:
"Mike Jeffries, of Abercrombie and Fitch...comes across as an eccentric, vain, popularity-infatuated fashion industry genius you probably figured he was. 'That's why we hire good-looking people in our stores. Because good-looking people attract other good-looking people, and we want to market to cool, good-looking people. We don't market to anyone other than that.' An interview with the writer on Gawker. Think he'll stop at Midwestern frat boys? He's coming for you NYC."
posted by ericb at 3:53 PM on October 18, 2007


I seem to recall the company's CEO as looking like Ron Perlman from Beauty And The Beast.

From the previous MeFi thread -- his picture at Salon and the Ron Perlman/Beast image provided by afx114. Oh, to have the img tag -- at least for just one day!
posted by ericb at 3:55 PM on October 18, 2007


Victoria's Secret actually is good about putting forward a diverse face tho, i think--they do plus-size lines and shows, and they've never had lawsuits over their sales staff hiring, and they've always used models of all races too.

Sure, but they have an oppressive profit-driven capitalistic stranglehold over the distribution of pretty underwear. Nothing short of liberating lingerie from the grubby hands of corporate greed will do. And yes, the revolution will be televised.
posted by UbuRoivas at 3:58 PM on October 18, 2007




I AM FOR IT.

I don't think was any big statement kind of thing. It seemed like harmless fun.
posted by tkchrist at 4:06 PM on October 18, 2007


And while we're at it...
300 Bare-chested Spartans [Craig Ferguson]
posted by humannaire at 4:13 PM on October 18, 2007


That's funny, katillathehun. I was just going to say: 'Meh, wake me when 111 women do this stunt.'
posted by quin at 4:21 PM on October 18, 2007


Improv Everywhere having been doing these kinds of things for many years now -- they predate flash mobs. They are exactly the kind of people you would hope they would be. They want to create fun, and the people in charge are also fantastically funny, not just assclowns.

I know Charlie, the boss of it, pretty well, and he is about the nicest, funniest guy you could hope to meet.

All of which is to say: I can understand how people would be suspicious of this, but it is all 100% above board.
posted by YoungAmerican at 4:25 PM on October 18, 2007


This is awesome. I actually used to know an A&F model - a friend's son who was just as jawdroppingly gorgeous in person. And straight. But underage. :(
posted by desjardins at 4:46 PM on October 18, 2007


Spencer Tunick, watch your ass.
posted by dhartung at 5:02 PM on October 18, 2007


Spencer Tunick, watch your ass.

Last week Spencer Tunick did his most recent shoot in Miami. CNN covered the day.
posted by ericb at 5:18 PM on October 18, 2007


Mike Jeffries: "we want to market to cool, good-looking people. We don't market to anyone other than that..."

Good. Cuz I don't like buying clothes that are only marketed to cool good-looking people. So that works out.
posted by ZachsMind at 5:54 PM on October 18, 2007


UbuRoivas: "And yes, the revolution will be televised."

Correction. The revolutions WAS televised, but it will not be syndicated.
posted by ZachsMind at 5:57 PM on October 18, 2007


YoungAmerican: "I know Charlie..."

Tell Mister Todd to organize more Moebius Strips and less Lameius Strips. Also, stop recording stuff just for television and get back to putting stuff up on the website. Also, tell him to tell his friends to stop with the dropping his name in message boards for kewlness points.
posted by ZachsMind at 6:03 PM on October 18, 2007


"we want to market to cool, good-looking people. We don't market to anyone other than that..."

What absolute bollocks. Marketing is mostly about creating an association between a product or brand & something appealing that actually has little or nothing to do with that product or brand.

Coke ads, for example, have typically shown healthy, slim young people having fun - dancing at the beach or whatever - creating some kind of association that if you drink Coke, you're buying into a vigorous, fun lifestyle, when the reality is that you're just drinking some dark-brown sugar-loaded flavoured water.

What A&F are doing is creating an association between a range of bland, generic clothing & an athletic college look - "if you see yourself as one of these sexy athletetic people, then our boring jeans & sweatshirts are the choice for you!". Saying that they only market to cool, good-looking people is simply another part of that product positioning.

The people they are actually marketing to fall outside the stated athletic model demographic, but would like to consider themselves as 'almost' belonging within that 'exclusive' group. The idea is to tempt a 4 into considering that they're actually a 6, so that they can pose as an 8 in the hope of snaring a 10.
posted by UbuRoivas at 6:17 PM on October 18, 2007 [5 favorites]


This post made me smile. Thanks.
posted by psmith at 6:25 PM on October 18, 2007


Hooray!
posted by malaprohibita at 6:28 PM on October 18, 2007


How isn't this post advertising for A&F? Imho this thread should be deleted.
posted by washburn at 6:40 PM on October 18, 2007


Hmm. Looks like somebody here was a bit of a killjoy.

Watta jerk!

maybe someone outta buy that sad sack a drink...
posted by washburn at 8:55 PM on October 18, 2007


yeah, what kind of asshat *is* that guy washbu-

-oh! i mean, "is that guy, hey, washburn?"
posted by UbuRoivas at 9:30 PM on October 18, 2007


The idea is to tempt a 4 into considering that they're actually a 6, so that they can pose as an 8 in the hope of snaring a 10.

I think that's right on the money, UbaRoivas. Well said.
posted by coolhappysteve at 11:07 PM on October 18, 2007


The idea is to tempt a 4 into considering that they're actually a 6, so that they can pose as an 8 in the hope of snaring a 10.

Dolly Parton couldn't have said it better.
posted by troybob at 8:41 AM on October 19, 2007


is that from dolly parton? i plagiarised it from a political blog, earlier this week, where somebody used it to explain why lower middle class people often fall for policies that actually shaft them but benefit the rich.

it sounded like the kind of thing that has a bit of history behind it...
posted by UbuRoivas at 3:52 PM on October 19, 2007


I always thought the best A&F prank would be to catch and freeze some bees, then take them to the dressing rooms in the Abercrombie where they would thaw and take flight, hopefully spreading chaos and fear throughout the store. It could be called the "Abercrom-bee and Fitch" prank.
posted by Curry at 12:11 PM on October 23, 2007


i like that, Curry, but if anyone was allergic, it'd get deadly.
posted by amberglow at 1:16 PM on October 23, 2007


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