by Walter Brasch
AR Senior Correspondent
Oct. 17, 2011
OCCUPY WALL STREET: SEPARATING FACT FROM MEDIA
INDIANAPOLIS, Ind. -- GASP Clothing hates normal-sized people. They hate you so much, they don't want you shopping at their stores ever. Unless you're a size six or smaller and have more money than brains, then GASP doesn't even want you setting foot in their store. (We'll forget for the moment that they're in Australia, and you're probably here in the United States. If they were an American company, they would still hate you.) GASP has made international news after Keara O'Neil, who wears a size 12, was insulted about her size by a male sales assistant, Chris, after saying she wanted to think about whether to buy her bridesmaids dresses at the retail chain. Keara was in the store last month looking at a particular dress, when Chris said "With your figure, I really think you should buy it." After that, she decided to leave, so Chris called after her, "Have fun shopping at Supre. I knew you were a joke the minute you walked in." Keara went home and emailed a complaint to GASP managers - GASPholes, I call them. Her email was a valid complaint, expressing her shock and displeasure at the way she was treated.
The response from GASP area manager Matthew Chidgey - the head GASPhole - was so stunningly awful and rude, Keara shared it. Chidgey's response was so terrible, it went viral and spread throughout the entire world.
In his email, Chidgey told Keara that they worked to appeal "to a very fashion forward consumer." He also said that Chris was a "retail superstar" whose "only problem is that he is too good at what he does."
What he does, apparently, is to be a big GASPhole to customers. And if he's a superstar at it, I'm sure he's one of the biggest in Australia.
Chidgey continued to excuse Chris' behavior as "people whom are talented generally do not tolerate having their time wasted, which is the reason you were provoked to leave the store."
Just like the "Australian for Beer" commercials, the phrase "you were provoked to leave the store" is apparently Australian for "we're too scared to admit our guy was a reprehensible little twit, so we're blaming his childish approach on some misguided attempt at long-term strategic thinking by a wanna-be fashion prima donna whose choices in life have led him to selling women's dresses at minimum wage in an also-ran retail chain."
GASP has even said they received a lot of publicity from their elitist attitude, and that they have had to cancel all vacation for their sales staff to deal with the crowds.
You mean publicity, like being bombarded with so many negative comments on their Facebook page, that they had to shut it down? Publicity like Australian model Ruby Rose writing on her Twitter page, "I am actually laughing. I can't believe gasp called themselves fashion forward. Sweetheart you sell polyester dresses u ain't no Prada" and "This can't be real hahahaha gasp sells the most cheap tacky clothing in Australia."?
You mean that kind of publicity?
GASP, which must truly want people to hate them, also said in their email "our product offerings are very, very carefully selected, so to ensure that we do not appeal to a broad customer base" and "we only carry products which appeal to a very fashion forward consumer."
I was not aware that fashion forward meant being a dress size that can only be achieved by eating one carrot per day and sticking your finger down your throat afterward.
GASP prides itself on selling products that "are priced such that they remain inaccessible to the undesirable" and that they only appeal to celebrities like Kim Kardashian, Selena Gomez, and Katy Perry. I hope they also pride themselves on their sycophantic suck-up attitude that's found in most celebrity lampreys who think they'll somehow be showered with affection and attention because said celebrity bought a $700 bra from them.
I've been around enough retail fashion people to know that the ones who are "all, like, ya know, rally super-serious abaht it" are nothing more than fashion designer wanna-bes who will never understand why their amateurishly scribbled sketches of "dresses" that look like a peacock on steroids will never be shown during New York Fashion Week.
Still, I have faith that many of them will come to their senses and find their way out of the fashion world, and enter a career that really needs their people skills and bright and sunny disposition they bring to the world around them.
After all, somebody has to pick up all the animal poop at the petting zoo.
Erik Deckers is a professional blogger, book author, award-winning playwright, travel writer, and humor columnist in Indianapolis, Indiana.