American Apparel’s nail polish collection may be free from formaldehyde, but it’s hardly free from the clothing company’s signature in-your-face cheekiness. A reader drew our attention to the line’s black shade, which is tastefully named ‘Hassid.’
We take nail polish names pretty seriously around here, and understand the pressure to compete with polish powerhouses like Essie and OPI, which seem to have completely cornered the pun market. Still, Hassid seems like a particularly uninspired choice.
The meeting probably went something like this:
“So, we’ve already decided on names for American Denim, African Violet, and Factory Grey. What should we call our black color?”
“Well, we went with Raccoon for brown, and Passport Blue for navy. I just wish there was some cute way to describe the color black.”
“What about those funny black hats Hasidic Jews wear?”
“Perfect! We’ll call it Hassid.”
This isn’t the first time American Apparel founder Dov Charney, who is Jewish, has gotten himself in hot water with his fellow MOTs. In 2009, Woody Allen sued the company for using an unauthorized image of him dressed as a Hasidic Jew in a scene from Annie Hall on a billboard advertisement, and received a $5 million payment.
American Apparel has never seemed to mind ruffling a few feathers to get attention; it’s pretty much their business model at this point (that and floral crop tops). Should we take the bait on this one?
(photo by the author)
Stephanie Butnick is deputy editor at Tablet Magazine.