For $50, American Eagle Outfitters is now offering its skinniest skinny jeans . Sort of.
In ’s inaugural feature, examines a bizarre new campaign from the retailers that aims to sell a can of body paint in place of good old-fashioned jeggings.
On Wednesday, AEO blasted an email notification to its loyal shoppers introducing “The AEO Skinny Skinny” and appropriate tagline: “Lookin’ Tight.” Included in the email is an image of two spray bottles in “Indigo” and “Bright Light” washes, allegedly for him and her. At first glance, the bottles could be a clever way to illustrate the “skinniest skinny jeans ever,” as in: these jeans are so tight, it’ll look like they’re practically spray painted on.
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But upon further inspection, it becomes apparent the product AEO is selling exclusively online — for no less than $49.95 — is actually just body paint.
But there’s more.
A strange advertisement for the “jeans” features young men and women declaring their independence and delivering lines like “I don’t want to be put in a box” and “I like skinny jeans, sometimes they’re not skinny enough.” The clip fails to give up the ruse in its 37-second entirety, while simultaneously zeroing in on painted behinds. At one point (though you may wish you’d missed it) a small flesh-colored crease can be seen.
While body paint has increased in popularity in recent years, this marks the first time that the product has been sold and marketed to such a broad audience by a major clothing retailer. Or does it?
Shoppers hoping to nab a can of the blue stuff may be sorely disappointed when, after adding the item to their checkout cart, they receive a clever message that reads “Sorry! The AEO Skinny Skinny is Temporarily Sold Out.” Still, the marketing ploy appears to be working. and have all picked up on the campaign, posting photos of the product as well as the video — which we’d describe as (in a word) absurd.
The brand is frequently used on teen-centered TV shows, including offerings on Disney Channel and The CW. AEO has previously served as the official sponsor of MTV’s spring break and outfitted multiple casts of its hit reality series and . Since last fall, star Shay Mitchell has appeared in ads for the company.