Tragic Chic

Looking for the hottest fall fashions? No need to pick up the
latest issue of W — just check out your local newspaper.
Tragic tales of migrant workers dying for opportunity in America
aren’t just for headlines anymore. According to Kimi Eisele’s
recent Pacific News Service commentary, they’re part of
Diesel’s autumn ad campaign. Earlier this summer, as hundreds of
migrant workers were found dead in the Southwest, Diesel’s
Manhattan flagship store featured mannequins with shovels and
pickaxes to promote its fall line of uniform-inspired garments. For
those who might have missed the subtlety of this campaign, the word
Trabajadores‘ (Spanish for ‘workers’) appeared in the
store window. ‘Personally, I think it’s about Communism,’ one
Diesel sales rep whispered to Eisele when she inquired about the
display. ‘The shovels, the drab colors, the similar styles for men
and women. [It’s] like they’re celebrating the worker.’

‘If we really want to celebrate the trabajadores, we’ll
have to do a lot more than dress like them,’ Eisele writes. When it
comes to those marketing mavens at Diesel — whose only known
suffering is the pain of being tragically hip — we’ll just have to
settle for imitation as the sincerest form of flattery.
Erin Ferdinand

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