We here at the City Paper love American Apparel, and it’s not because they run a regular ad on the back page of the paper. Actually, that’s not entirely correct. We love them because they run an ad on the back page, but it’s not because they pay us, although we’re certainly grateful for their patronage. The point is we love their ads. More often than not they’re sexy. Sometimes they’re just bizarre. And nine times out of 10, we think they’re hilarious. Seriously, it’s hard to read the bio on each model and not crack a smile. For this issue of our annual Summer Guide we decided to pay tribute to our favorite ongoing ad campaign. We hope you enjoy it.
For 30 years, Rick Hiott worked on cars, but 10 years ago he tossed away the monkey wrench and picked up a captain's hat. "Now I am a full-time fishing guide, and I couldn't be happier," he says. — Evan Berke
Ralph Earhart was an avid motor boater for 15 years. He loved the waters around Charleston. But there was one thing about his motor boat that really ticked him off. His was always on the fritz. That may be all well and good for rich bastards, but it wasn't fine for Earhart. "I gave the boat to the repairman and said, 'Take it. I don't ever want to see it again,'" he says. — Elizabeth Estochen
Robert Lavarnway wants to clear up a common misconception about rock climbing — one that'll save all of you poor schmucks from having to buy a pair of dumbbells and a case of Beefcake protein powder. "Most people incorrectly think that they have to have good upper body strength to climb. Climbing should be about 70 percent legs and 30 percent arms," Lavarnway, the outdoor recreation coordinator for climbing programs for the Charleston County Park and Recreation Commission, says. "That being said, climbing is like a puzzle. A climber looks for the optimal place to put their feet and hands and then has to decide how to move off of that position." — Deanna Kerley
Amanda Hamilton became a roller coaster fiend thanks to her childhood friend, Alex Bransford. And even when they weren't at a park riding coasters, they were obsessed with the fast-and-furious thrill rides. "We would play Roller Coaster Tycoon all day," Hamilton says. They would even watch videos about coasters. "We would get really close to the TV and pretend we were riding the roller coaster," Hamilton says. "I was terrified." Growing up, she often went to Six Flags over Georgia. "Batman was my favorite when I was younger because your feet dangled free." — Amelia Thomson