Amercian Apparel Partners With Crowdsourcing Site For Lookbook

The global fashion brand teamed up with Lookbook.nu and their users to share the latest looks with the rest of the world.

Fun and fast fashion retailer American Apparel have teamed up with LOOKBOOK.nu to create a snapshot of their customers at their most creative. Everyday, hundreds of users of LOOKBOOK.nu upload pictures of themselves in their fashion outfits to get rated by the rest of the community. American Apparel worked with the site in December 2009 where they announced a call for LOOKBOOK.nu users to submit outfits that featured American Apparel styles. After sorting through nearly a thousand entries, they created a lookbook with almost 80 young people wearing the AA brand from around the world. 150,000 copies will be available in their 280 stores around the globe.

Some of the LOOKBOOK.nu users in the book who sent in what AA considered were the best contributions have even been reshot by professional photographers and were added to the cover and centerfolds.

AA LOOKBOOK.nu Spread

The brand also started to use them in their ads too. They already have a reputation for creating eye-catching risque advertising, so PSFK asked the American Apparel press team why the change in direction. They responded and said:

Maybe this is better categorized as a resource than as an ad. What we liked about it is that it’s 77 people who each have their own sense of style showing how they like to wear American Apparel. Our photographers and designers see the garments in one way and sometimes the customers and fans see it a totally different way. The book has both. That’s a big reason why we’re giving it away at the stores and we hope people take it and get inspired or interested in pieces they wouldn’t have considered before.

AA also told us that they enjoyed how LOOKBOOK.nu users mixed and matched their brand with others. The Little Red Riding Hood image above features an American Apparel cape, Max Mara tights and Burberry shoes, for example. AA said:

A lot of these girls and guys are wearing some of their other favorite brands too. Sometimes it’s just one basic piece of American Apparel in their whole outfit. We think that’s pretty cool. It’s also one of the more unique parts of the project, since normally a lookbook or ad is all about exclusively showing your line.

Last year, American Apparel noticed how popular it could be working with their customers when when they held an in-store shoot for customers during Fashion’s Night Out. They ended up using a couple of aspiring models in their ads as a result including the “Cherry Blossom Girl in Paris“. The LOOKBOOK.nu collaboration was a “natural step” the press team say.

PSFK asked Yuri Lee, founder and community manager, of the crowd-taste site about why they decided to work with American Apparel. She said:

We’ve enjoyed a longstanding relationship with American Apparel because they are one of the few fashion brands out there that really ‘gets’ it. I think the majority of big companies out there still think that in the digital age, they need to fully own and control their brand. American Apparel, by partnering with LOOKBOOK.nu and creating this incredible booklet out of our community’s user-generated content, has shown that they’re willing to give up some of that control and shine a spotlight on how the customers are taking their brand, mixing it up, messing with it and making it their own.

What’s in it for us? The LOOKBOOK.nu / American Apparel lookbook hitting hundreds of AA stores around the world is a major milestone for us. For the first time since launching our site less than 2 years ago, this is the first major release of our content in print form. We have this really vibrant and amazing community full of talented young people and we’re happy that they will now be getting some public attention. We think it’s well deserved.

The final output has 132 looks. 150,000 copies that will be free at 280 American Apparel stores in 20 countries. They will also be available to be shipped anywhere via the website.

Get your book at American Apparel

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