Sunday, June 13, 2010

Nepal- Where Unpopular U.S. Shirts Come for a New Life

About a month ago I started to notice a new fashion trend among Nepali men, Britney Spears T-shirts. Lots of em. There are I think three different shirts, one with Brit sporting a hat, one letting her hair out and another with her showing off a little cleavage. Strangely the one with the hat seems to be the most popular. I never followed Britney close enough to be able to date the shirts (to be honest I wouldn't have recognized her if her name wasn't also on the shirt) but my guess is that the original run of these shirts went in the early part of this decade, maybe 2004 or so tops. Her sudden mass appearance is somewhat of a mystery, it certainly isn't due to popular music, as most Nepali people seem to listen mostly to Nepali Music or Indian Music. My guess is that when a product has no hope of any sales in the U.S. they make their way to Nepal. It's kind of like the island of misfit toys, only for clothes.

This can result in some hilarious circumstances. My favorite is when men occasionally will wear shirts that were made for woman, and have some phrase on it that makes this clear. I'm sure its this clothings price point that gets it purchased, and the people wearing it could care less what the words are, but for me I would be lying if I said I did not get a kick out of it on occasion. The more awkward ones are the children that have shirts with mildly inappropriate phrases on them that are usually kind of like slang, so even if the parents could speak English they might miss the sexual connotation that the phrase on the shirt has. As a warning to parents of young daughters, terms like "Juicy Fruit" across the chest and "Naughty" over their rear, isn't what you want to convey to the world.

It's not just shirts or pants either, on one trip to Bhat Betini Kim and I found aprons that had been made for the Maryland Crab Festival, coasters for some bar in Philly, and other items where a Chinese company had evidently over produced items that never quite made it over to U.S. shores. So if you're wondering where all the Colts Superbowl Champs items went, well there is a good chance I will be seeing them within the coming months.

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