Driving through Los Angeles one day, Thomas Alleman spotted an incongruous American Apparel ad hung above a car repair shop, an image that inspired him to photograph other posters for the infamous clothing brand around the streets and vacant lots of its home town. Thomas explains: “I found the dialogue between the simple, clean and direct presentation of a hip fashion fantasy and the urban environments that surround these ads really striking.”
The photographs partly celebrate the disarming directness and sleek, simple designs of the campaigns, but more interestingly they instill a sense of discomfort. The sensationalist sexualisation inherent in the images is made more blatant by Thomas’s juxtapositions. His series seems to posit the idea that the ads, predominately featuring scantily clad women, aren’t even really about marketing clothes, but rather about projecting and indoctrinating a brand’s identity, an identity that seems strikingly superficial and at odds with the urban landscape of everyday L.A.