Wednesday, November 26, 2014

Moosejaw shows off Detroit's 'notable humans' — too bad only three of them are black

Posted By on Wed, Nov 26, 2014 at 2:55 PM

We picked up Moosejaw's latest catalog, a 34-page booklet titled "Notable Humans of Detroit," from a recent stop by their downtown store. Flipping through it, we're glad they chose, um, humans to model the jackets. Certainly, they're the next best thing to mannequins.

However, we're pretty bummed that in all of Detroit, Moosejaw seemed to be able to only find three notable black humans — Rebecca "Bucky" Willis from Bleeding Heart Design, Everett Weathersby from the Untitled Bottega, and Carlo "Coach Khali" Sweeney from the Downtown Boxing Gym Youth Program.

We'll let the introductory page from the catalog speak for itself. Take it away, Moosejaw:

Over the last 22 years, Moosejaw has brought you catalogs about jail, bugs, sandwiches and, perhaps most importantly, an entire catalog dedicated to our CFO. This fall we're going in a different direction. Instead of inundating the world with stories of ice cream sundaes, tales of haircut ladies, and yards about three-hole punches, we've decided to focus on the home of Moosejaw — Detroit.

To start, we called our latest outerwear the Moosejaw Detroit Collection, with each piece named after a street in Detroit. Then, we banned all foods that don't start with the letter 'D' from all of our stores. Finally, the Moosejaw Detroit Collection is here and to model the jackets, we're using amazing humans doing cool and passionate things in Detroit.

Among the other chosen Humans of Note are Monica Breen of Be Nice Yoga, Jackie Kippen of Girls on the Run of Greater Detroit, and Greg Miracle of the Great Lakes Coffee Roasting Company. The book also says that part of the proceeds from the collection will go to the Notable Humans' Detroit-based charities of choice. You can take a look at the catalog online here.

When Jackman saw it, he pointed us in the direction of a 2007 arts story he wrote for MT dissecting, of all things, a Title Nine catalog. While you're sitting around clicking on things you might as well give it a click, too — in typical Jackman fashion its worth lots of laughs. Here's a sample:  

Named for the 1972 law mandating gender equality in education, the company, based in Berkeley, Calif., is a retailer of women's athletic apparel, through its distinctive mail-order catalog. Their booklets show page after page of fit, active, overachieving women, with brief bios on their jobs as environmental lawyers or marine biologists. It's tempting to say they are "real women" wearing Title Nine clothing, in the sense that they have "real jobs" and "real stories." But they are so not real. They're tripping through verdant mountain paths, surfing in Hawaii, running their own businesses, and still finding time to read the great Russian novels and learn obscure healing traditions. They are grown-up Moosejaw girls who have come into their own — or have at least come into their trust funds. No undernourished, emaciated teenagers here — if only the challenge were that simple. It's not enough to be thin; you need to grow up, get a yoga body, a small business and a modest California house.

It's exciting to see a retailer reject old-fashioned assumptions about women. Unfortunately, here they've embraced a set of tougher, more unrealistic assumptions instead. Forget worrying about your waistline, ladies: Have you finished your fucking dissertation yet? What are you doing to save the environment? 


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