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22      Shopping for An Identity

  There are certain places where you either blend in or feel left out.

About a week ago, I walked into an Abercrombie & Fitch store in Lower Manhattan. I could not help but felt like I was walking into a backstage of a fashion show. There were beautiful people around.

Starting from the blue-eyed hottie behind the cash register, two young girls in mini skirts who were blondies were folding graphic T-shirts, then the model-look-alike staff who climbed up and down the stairs like they were catwalks. Even the people who were waiting in line for the fitting rooms, they were all attractive. The thought of ‘Maybe these clothes are not meant to be for your average Jane Doe’ strucked my mind.

I walked out the store empty-handedly not because the clothes were not meant to be for me. It was due to identical styles of clothing at such marked-up prices compared to other existing fashion brands.

Targeting on the more affluent teen crowd, Abercrombie offers a clothing range from thongs for 8 to 10-year-olds to minis for 18-year-olds. Does it stop at the age of 18? Yeah, pretty much.

It is known that Abercrombie holds its prices high to protect its upscale reputation. When you buy an Abercrombie top or bottom, you feel like you own the All-American look, you become one of those good looking Abercrombians.

Most of us in the US are aware of Abercrombie’s history of racial insensitivity. Last year, they sold T-shirts depicted Asian laundrymen wearing rice patty straw hats and Asian woman in a passive manner with a slogan “Two Wongs can make it White”. Asian Americans were outraged, Abercrombie & Fitch recalled the T-shirts and apologized.

When it comes to shopping and money is not an object, the issue of shopping for an identity comes around. If we are to reason why we go out and spend thousands of dollars on the latest monogram LV, will it be too shallow to say that the purchased item is solely for an identity purpose? The prestigious identity?

Some of us buy overly-priced items for quality. Some of us buy expensive stuff for the look. Whatever our reasons are, shopping for an identity should be taken off from the list.