Australia is a retail enclave, shielded from some super-brands like Victoria's secret, Topshop, Aeropostle and Abercrombie and Fitch. This is a good thing. There is less of a culture of buying the EXACT SAME clothing as everyone else in your age group, a pressure to fit in with the same brands, and do identify yourself by said brand. Also, huge amounts of money are not poured into one sole brand, which always seems a little unjust to me.
Anyway, Hollister just opened it's first store in my city (and second in the country). I was all against it.
I do not want to look like OTHER PEOPLE ACROSS THE GLOBE. I do not want to identify with a company that only wants 'cool' kids into wear their stuff, and clearly says so. I do not want to vaguely delude myself that I am exclusive, cute and beachy. Don't get me wrong, I do not feel inferior that I am not any of those. I do not want to be. I do not want to pour money into this guy's coffers, even though many other brand owners are probably just as bad.
"It’s almost everything. 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” [Please, sir, you are not in some bitchy frat house, or high school. Just a friendly reminder.]
I do not want to lead the simpering and self satisfying lifestyle that they like to associate themselves with. I get that they are marketing to a 'cool' WASP teen, popular, probably bashes other guys heads in, or bitches incessantly until a frenemy is driven to suicide, before going on to become a mindless and vacuous consumer of Hollister. The usual.
Tempting though it may be to !Oh Joy! Be so very cool that I just have to buy products from a brand that expresses me exactly, advertising my awesomeness (for Hollister clothes are all logo-ed an branded. YOU are the advertisement). Or perhaps I just WANT to be cool, and if wearing that shit makes me cool, so be it.
OK, so I explored the ethos. What about the store? Dark like a pit, a maze of rooms, and the inexplicable sound of waves. I is mid winter, bear in mind. I do not like the beach when my hands are numb with cold.
You can judge a store by it's change rooms, and those were small, spotlight so that if I turned the wrong way the glare blinded me. And a little dark. Now, I know I am a narcissist, I like my reflection, so turn up the lights so I can enjoy it! And perfumed. After trying stuff on, I still smell like it.
Still, sucker that I am, I went in. The first time, I looooooved it. The clothing, aside from ALL the sweatpants and weird loose shorts is nice. Really nice. Simple, pretty. I will grant them that. It is reasonably priced, ie affordable for broke people like me. I was obsessed. I vowed to come back ASAP with money. And so today, I did.
But after a little thought, away from that grotto of Hollister-ness, I realized how much I LOATHED the place, and felt terrible. I looked at everyone else blithely shopping there, and felt worse yet.
PS: Sizing. That stuff was messed. Their Gilly Hicks bras and bandeaus gave no support, were way loose in the band, or just acted as nipple covers. The bandeau didn't even cover the bottom of my bra. Me being a non standard size, this was fine. As a side point, Gilly Hicks is actually called Gilly Hicks Sydney, as in wear I live. Yep, before this week, I had never seen or herd of it. But the shorts and pants! I wore a size 00, on my 34" hips. I am tall, and fully grown. Someone shorter, skinnier or younger than me would be sized out by vanity sizing. Hollister, I don't need to be told how skinny I am. I don't care.
Verdict: Just nooooooooooooo