Everytime I see pics of these $100 aprons (average price of said apron is approximately $88, shipping is $7, plus tax is $100), AWOLNATION’s THISKIDSNOTALRIGHT blasts into my cranial space, and I experience the rage that the birthday cowboy exhibits:
It’s apparent this uber-apron vendor has been very successful in its marketing campaign, just check out this photo of the PR “project” shot back in March. Serious Eats, check, LA Weekly, Check, LAist, check, Refinery 29, check, The Kitchn, Check.
Then, around July 4, the shit really hit the fan for me. Some LA chef-mom (bless her heart) instagrammed her little kid rocking a new fanciful apron with the tag of “Happy July 4th, America”. (Note, the above was ganked from a tumblr post, not from the actual instagram of the chef and her lovely twerp rocking $100 piece of useless denim). Or something to that effect. Being the curmudgeon that I am, I read this as an insult to anyone who has a kid, who may have a kid in the future, who knows a kid that doesn’t have a bougie apron. Essentially that photo says this: I love my kids [as does every parent], my kid has a super-duper local, “artisan” selvedge denim apron as featured in the Los Angeles Times [most little girls I know, who love their pretend kitchens, do not], and that’s why America is great [it is, but not for that reason]. In essence, that photo is a load of F-U neated cropped into a square space on your mobile device.
It’s great that US is finding footing in the manufacturing sector again. Six months ago, The Atlantic tried really hard to make us believe “insourcing” is indeed “in” again. If this is an actual phenomenom (and I’m saying it isn’t, because gross container import into the port of LA/Long Beach has increases year over year; 2013 so far is no different), I really hope it’s occuring at a slower pace as The Atlantic seems to be documenting. However, if the reinvention and rebirth of the second American industrial revolution means $100 aprons, leave us non-chefy plebs out of the future. The designer apron (made of denim, which a few chefs have actually told doesn’t absorb worth a damn) is apparently not a new phenomenon, and The Kitchn actually gushed about a $85 apron from Etsy as early as 2011. It seems, however, most of us prols never got the memo, and it wasn’t until a bunch of newly opening restaurants in Westside and Downtown Los Angeles began to receive (heavily discounted?) fanciful aprons that the public took notice.
If these $100 aprons aren’t much more functionally, nor practical, than a regular cloth apron, and is really more suitable for a Miami fashion catwalk, why on earth are they proliferating through the LA foodie-sphere at an alarming rate? Simple: foodies are ruining food. Somehow the Angeleno-driven PR machine has completed ignored the fact there are other “American” made aprons, using American-woven denim from cotton grown in America. Witness: Pointer Brand
That’s a denim apron originally meant for woodworkers, farmers and auto mechanics, so they will probably handle the rigors of frosting piping as well as splattering lard, with aplomb. It is also made in America, also by real human Americans, sewn on machines made in the USA (except the Dell monitor for QC is probably made in China), and it’s $25. That’s “twenty five US dollars”.
And unlike some artisan hawkers with no sewing experience, Pointer Brand has been producing denim for a HUNDRED YEARS. ONE HUNDRED years of sewing, on now vintage machines, in Bristol, Tenessee, under the auspices of a textile-making family.
So, the choice is yours, LA. Support the anti-bellum South, or… support a hipster label with no tradition and only bona fide marketing plan. Surely Tennessee’s non-existent textile industry demands your charity. In the meantime, the rest of us who can’t even afford a $25 apron will go sulk in the proverbial kitchen corner while wearing birthday suits. Afterall, what kind of bona fide home kitchen warriors wears an apron? I cook topless, natch.
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