From Sweatshop to Hip-Hop

| August 16, 2002 Issue

From Sweatshop to Hip-Hop, Ryan Pintado-Vertner, ColorLines
A decade ago, you'd be stretched to find a Gap model that deviated from the thin, vacant-eyed, white female wearing Gap's famously clean-cut, all-American uniform of jeans and tee shirt. Sometime between then and now, says Ryan Pintado-Vertner in ColorLines, hip-hop won the attention of the exact age bracket that such stores relied on to buy their clothes. But hip-hop had its own fashion sense, and it wasn't what the Gap, Levi's, and other major brands were selling. Now, these stores have cashed in on the hip-hop "look" by using the very models that mainstream fashion once ignored, and Pintado-Vertner explores this hypocrisy, as well as businesses' new exploitation of youth of color.
--Julie Madsen
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