Thursday, May 15, 2008

"Fan" Mail

Attn: Hollister
Re: Being Ridiculous

Dear Hollister Creative Executives,

We are sick of you. We are sick of shitty cologne and surfboards and playing on the beach and jeeps with no doors and people that look like Zach Morris who take off their shirts too much. We are sick of our newly purchased clothing items smelling like your store. We are sick of having to trade a quick browse in a shop for being engulfed in the unmistakable stench of college, and we are certainly sick of shopping in the goddamn dark. We do not want to be a part of your lifestyle. We do not want to look like thousands of other people, just in a different color. We are sick of your lies. Your first store opened in Columbus, Ohio. Nothing says Huntington Beach, California quite like the state of Ohio. When I think sunny beaches, skimpy bikinis, and Paris Hilton nip-slips, the first place that always pops into my mind is Columbus, O-fucking-hio. The insanity ends now.

Why the hell would I purchase a piece of clothing that already smells like the Italian National Soccer team has worn it out for a night on the town? Is this the best that your marketing team could come up with? "Yeah, I think we should have our employees douse our merchandise in cologne at the beginning and end of each shift. I mean, it's the right thing to do." Tremendous move, fellas. Brilliant. Now not only are we overpaying for our clothes, we're also footing the dry cleaning bill to get that $45 golf shirt smelling more like our own and less like a Hummer full of frat bros. On top of this, by merely coming within 25 feet of the store, we are agreeing to spend the rest of the day radiating a thick fog of Hollister stench; one that will take 6 showers and an exorcism to wash off of our tainted skin. Furthermore, due to your aggressive franchising strategies, you're also rolling the dice with having your store being located in the vicinity of a food court. God help us all. It says something when you'd rather smell like the inner depths of the food court than have to reek of Huntington Beach, California.

Since when did companies stop selling products and start selling "lifestyles"? When you pull that Hollister T-shirt over your head, you're not just covering your torso with material, you're putting on a way of life, and that's just how Hollister likes it…

"I am wearing a Hollister t-shirt. I have blonde highlights in my hair but you can't see them underneath my white baseball cap turned backwards. I am probably wearing flip-flops. I like to take risks and surf. I am moments away from taking this new shirt off because I didn't do 1000 crunches this morning to hide these thunder-abs under a sheath of cotton. I have guns and pipes and pythons without any interest in weapons or plumbing or reptiles. I excel at beer pong and keg stands and flip cup. I need my messages instant, my noodles instant, and my tans instant. I need everything this second or I'm gonna throw my Nalgene bottle at you. I demand respect and pussy. I'm Hollister, motherfucker."

FUCK. THAT. When bad pop culture predicted the future to be filled with people dressed in matching shiny silver jumpsuits, they weren't that far off; they just forgot to emblaze "HCO" across the chest. The only thing that distinguishes you from a fellow Hollister wearer is the fact that your golf shirt is teal and his is Easter egg yellow. Why launch an "American Lifestyle" clothing brand without designing more than three shirt styles? I must be confused. I think your website is supposed to say "USSR Circa 1986 Lifestyle Clothing Brand". I understand that if you factor in color choices, plus the difference between "Hollister" or "HCO" being scrawled across the chest, essentially thousands of options are available. However, the fact still remains that you're only a few letters and one shade of color away from being falsely accused in a frat house murder.

Long gone are the days when we all wondered what it was like for Ray Charles to go shopping for clothes. Hollister, being the cagey marketing wizards that they are, saw this need and filled it fast. Why in the mother-loving world would I want to shop for my clothes in a store with lighting barely better than the Bat Cave? How are we to know if that sweet shirt is soft pink or salmon? What if I want to count how many fake rips are in my jeans? Why do you dress up your female employees in short skirts and tight shorts if it's too dark to adequately ogle them and have you considered how many employee rapes go down in that dark corner by the hoodies? A lot. At least go all the way with it. This is America, the land where absolutely nobody half asses it...not even the President. Follow suit and take this concept to the next level. Just have customers hand you crisp hundred dollar bills then grab a random item out of a massive bin in the stockroom and blast it down a chute in the back alley where the happy patron awaits. This way, instead of being frustrated and embarrassed, they can be excited, then bewildered, and finally disappointed. Hey at least it's interesting. Honestly, how much can fluorescent lights cost? Maybe it's that you feel light bulbs are overpriced and spending way more money than needed on an item of necessity is unjustifiable. You know what? We feel the exact same way...where's Old Navy again?




Nick Tomlinson said...

As someone who usually shops for clothes by running through charity shops with glue on his hands, I would welcome a dimly lit Birmingham (UK) branch of Hollister. Apart from the vague smell of Oriental sweat-shop, our clothes are pathetically odourless.

"6 showers and an exorcism..."

Bloody love it.

Kori said...

So, I followed a link from someone else's blog, and found this, and will spend the rest of the day laughing about this post in particular. So thanks for that-and also know that I will be showing this to my children so they can know that I am not the only person in the world who feels this way.

Brent Diggs said...

My children try to keep me from ever entering the store.

Somehow my dancing skills embarrass them.

Miss said...

Shopping in the dark! YES! Oh and why can I not see ANY clothes from the outside of the store? The picture I see is just people, WITH NO CLOTHES ON.

At least Victoria's Secret models wear the underwear.