Nasty Gal's Shopping Bags #FreeTheNipple And We're Not Even Mad
Online shopping seems to be taking over the world, and yet more and more online-only retailers are dipping their toes into brick and mortar. Nasty Gal's first store location opens Friday at 8115 Melrose Avenue and, from the looks of the launch-party Instagrams, the shop will be a fittingly edgy home to cutout dresses and sky-high Jeffery Campbell booties. The icing on the cake of that edginess? Shopping bags featuring...nipples.
Sophia Amoruso, the company's too-cool-for-school founder and CEO, shared several photos of the bags via Instagram. They're definitely a little bit rowdy (and a little bit NSFW). Shot by photographer Doug Rickard, the images on the bags show women in skimpy outfits posing suggestively. In one photo we see a close-up of a woman's breast with the nipple poking out from beneath her gauzy pink tank top.
Although Fast Company's KC Ifeanyi compares the shopping bags to classic American Apparel advertising fare, he notes that, "if its Instagram comments are anything to judge by, Nasty Gal fans — who rally around the brand's fierce image — aren't shocked or outraged by this hint of nipple." He posits (and I absolutely agree) that this is because, unlike former American Apparel CEO Dov Charney, Sophia Amoruso is a loud and proud feminist. Her racy shopping bags invoke a playful, tongue-in-cheek sex appeal — and women in charge of their own sexuality — while American Apparel's reek of objectification.
There's a balance between raunchy and sleazy and I definitely think the Nasty Gal shopping bag artwork strikes that balance. After all, it's true to the brand image. A Nasty Gal is not the kind of girl who would flip out over a tiny nip slip when she's wearing a killer party dress. These photographs reflect that sense of ease and sexiness. Plus, as Clover Hope at Jezebel points out — this is nothing we haven't seen at early 2000s Abercrombie and Fitch.