My Encounter With Hollister the Brand

I used to work outside of Hollister, California. The town’s name is famous worldwide due to its appropriation by apparel company Abercrombie & Fitch as a surf brand.

hollister 1922 so cal

When I was just beginning to develop my own youth brand Post-Mod ® five years ago, I happened to discover online accounts of A&F threatening trademark infringement against a local company for silkscreening “Hollister” on a tee shirt.

I thought that it would be cool to do a photoshoot of a male model wearing our Post-Mod ® shirts with a surfboard in front of California Highway Department signs with the name “Hollister” and see if posted pix would elicit threatening letters from Abercrombie and Fitch.

Post-Mod® by Beaks of Eagles

Post-Mod® by Beaks of Eagles

Hollister Co surf board

Hollister Co surf board

I never followed through.  Today I was reminded of that unrealized photoshoot by an article in the New Yorker by Dave Eggers called The Actual Hollister, where he recalled the Abercrombie and Fitch connection.

So, I decided to search through my photo archives and post a few photos I had taken five years ago of the highway signs with the Hollister name.  I also post below a list of taglines I had come up with to accompany the pictures.

Hollister highway sign: trademark infringement A&F?

Hollister highway sign: trademark infringement A&F?

Surf in Hollister?  not-so-much
Surf in Hollister – branding as earthquake prediction
Holllister highway sign: Trademark infringement A&F?

Holllister highway sign: Trademark infringement A&F?

Dude, surf’s up in Hollister…NOT.
Put down your f—ing board and wack the weeds.
Hollister Surf Alert:  7 foot weeds south of town

Hollister highway sign: trademark infringement A&F?

Hollister highway sign: trademark infringement A&F?

Dude, you get an “F” in California geography:
Garlic = Gilroy; Hay = Hollister; Surf = Santa Cruz 1 hour away.

“NoCal” Hollister Tag Lines

NoCal – the home of pseudo surf apparel companies
The real Hollister was founded by a sheepherder.
Hollister Co. – NoCal surf apparel

Hollister Trademark Controversy

Signs around town: H*ll*st*r
What happens when a city fears being sued for trademark infringement.

Sign on a team uniform: H*ll*st*r
What happens when a city fears being sued for trademark infringement
Notice to Legal Dept: This is a State of California sign. Try and sue them for trademark infringement.
Fight the Power, California.  Your lifestyle cannot be trademarked.


Post-Mod Fashion: Double Coding

Novelist and theorist Umberto Eco explains his idea of postmodernism as a kind of double-coding:

“I think of the postmodern attitude as that of a man who loves a very cultivated woman and knows that he cannot say to her “I love you madly”, because he knows that she knows (and that she knows he knows) that these words have already been written by Barbara Cartland. Still there is a solution. He can say “As Barbara Cartland would put it, I love you madly”. At this point, having avoided false innocence, having said clearly it is no longer possible to talk innocently, he will nevertheless say what he wanted to say to the woman: that he loves her in an age of lost innocence.”

False Innocence     

Signs of the Mod 60s

Prada, 2012                                                   

Prada Fall/winter 2011 collection Milan, Italy February 24, 2011

Lost Innocence

Signs of Signs of the Mod 60s

Beaks of Eagles – Post-Mod® Racerback

         Beaks of Eagles - Post Mod Collection1

Signs of Punk

Beaks of Eagles –  Modpunk ®

             zipper3

zipper4