by Lee DeVito
Over the last 22 years, Moosejaw has brought you catalogs about jail, bugs, sandwiches and, perhaps most importantly, an entire catalog dedicated to our CFO. This fall we're going in a different direction. Instead of inundating the world with stories of ice cream sundaes, tales of haircut ladies, and yards about three-hole punches, we've decided to focus on the home of Moosejaw — Detroit.
To start, we called our latest outerwear the Moosejaw Detroit Collection, with each piece named after a street in Detroit. Then, we banned all foods that don't start with the letter 'D' from all of our stores. Finally, the Moosejaw Detroit Collection is here and to model the jackets, we're using amazing humans doing cool and passionate things in Detroit.
Named for the 1972 law mandating gender equality in education, the company, based in Berkeley, Calif., is a retailer of women's athletic apparel, through its distinctive mail-order catalog. Their booklets show page after page of fit, active, overachieving women, with brief bios on their jobs as environmental lawyers or marine biologists. It's tempting to say they are "real women" wearing Title Nine clothing, in the sense that they have "real jobs" and "real stories." But they are so not real. They're tripping through verdant mountain paths, surfing in Hawaii, running their own businesses, and still finding time to read the great Russian novels and learn obscure healing traditions. They are grown-up Moosejaw girls who have come into their own — or have at least come into their trust funds. No undernourished, emaciated teenagers here — if only the challenge were that simple. It's not enough to be thin; you need to grow up, get a yoga body, a small business and a modest California house.
It's exciting to see a retailer reject old-fashioned assumptions about women. Unfortunately, here they've embraced a set of tougher, more unrealistic assumptions instead. Forget worrying about your waistline, ladies: Have you finished your fucking dissertation yet? What are you doing to save the environment?