American Apparel Taps Porn Mag Illustrator for New Ad Campaign

Jan 26, 2011 4:30 PM PST
LOS ANGELES — For its newest ad campaign, clothing manufacturer American Apparel has enlisted the work of Boris Lopez, whose erotic illustrations have graced the pages of TIGHT and Hustler’s Barely Legal magazines.

American Apparel’s latest advertisements are promoting its cotton underwear line with a series of Lopez’s tastefully nude penciled portraits of perky-breasted young women and the tag line “Cotton. You can feel how good it looks.”

Lopez told XBIZ that the illustrations were previously published in the New York-based adult publication, TIGHT, however they should not be considered porn.

“Don't know if I should feel good or bad that I'm creating a little bit of a controversy,” he said. “I guess it’s good because I'm getting the ‘proper’ attention that I've always longed for, but I also don't want to get in trouble.

“I never considered my drawings ‘porn,’ because they're not,” Lopez added. “A lot of people have the wrong interpretation of this word, we all really know what porn is. They should pay more attention to all the work that's involved in doing an illustration like mine — it takes weeks (sometimes months), they have to pay attention to the detail, the depth, the realism, the concept, the shading, the values ... and how real it looks, which is what confuses people. They have to realize that it's only a piece of paper with some graphite on it! And it's not a real person; it's a piece of artwork that was created with someone's hands.”

Lopez’s biography on his website notes his special artistic talent.

“Drawing nude models in art class was my forte when I was going to art school,” Lopez says. “Everybody liked the way I drew the female models because I often added a personal touch to the drawing. I could always turn an average looking model into an absolute charm.”

Lopez said American Apparel sought him out for his work and is requesting additional art from him. However, he says the loss of his brother last year to lung cancer has hampered his motivation.

“I haven't done anything this whole time and not sure if I can get into it again,” Lopez said. “I guess it would have to be something worth my time.”

Critics of American Apparel’s boundary-pushing marketing techniques say the company has finally crossed the line into porn with its latest round of sexually suggestive ads. Some of American Apparel’s other ads have featured nudity or sexual themes, and subsequently have been banned by various advertising authorities.

Past American Apparel ads have featured porn stars such as Sasha Grey, Faye Reagan, Lauren Phoenix and Charlotte Stokely.

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