It’s no secret that I can’t stand Abercrombie & Fitch. Apparently, though, bed bugs love this store as well as its sister store, Hollister. Racked reported last week that the Hollister store in Soho had to close temporarily because employees had been complaining about bedbug bites for three weeks and one employee even found an exoskeleton hanging off her clothes! Today, they’re reporting the closing of the South Street Seaport Abercrombie & Fitch store, also due to a bedbug infestation.
Apparently, Hollister Soho will reopen tomorrow. The company promises the bedbug problem is resolved and vows to clean up their A&F store. But bedbugs are notoriously difficult to get rid of. I’m just saying . . .
One of our fabulous readers, Emily Kennedy (who also blogs at A Radiant Mephit) just tipped me off to Johanna Blakely’s TED talk called, “Lessons from Fashion’s Free Culture.” Like all TED talks, Blakely’s talk is informative, accessible, lively, and quick. After cataloging the “magical side effects” of the “copying culture” of fashion (including the democratization of fashion and the acceleration in creative innovation), Blakely concludes with a question about the relationship between creativity and ownership:
The conceptual issues are truly profound when you talk about creativity and ownership. We don’t want to leave this just to lawyers to figure out. [Y]ou want an interdisciplinary team of people hashing this out, trying to figure out: “What is the kind of ownership model in a digital world that’s going to lead to the most innovation?”
The answer for Blakely, of course, is fashion. But how digital technologies increase creative innovation is a different question, I think, than asking how digital technologies increase freedom (creative or political). In other words, Blakely’s “free culture” is only free in limited ways and in fact, can produce unfreedoms in the process.
I began drafting another post having quite a lot to do with that question so it’s absolute serendipity that Emily clued me into this TED talk! While I finish writing that, check out the video.