Made In The U.S.A.

My New Yorker magazine ripoff: The Saint Louiser

In Resources on March 20, 2009 at 12:58 am

While I prefer Tiger Beat and the National Review, my pal Elon reads the New Yorker. (I don’t understand why. He lives in Los Angeles.) He mentioned to me that the recent Style Issue includes a story on Buying American.

Though they didn’t contact me for a quote, I approve of their effort.

You have to subscribe to read the New Yorker online, but they do publish abstracts. Along with the basics of the article–it’s about buying American–it includes a list of things mentioned. In this case, it mentions a series of retailers: Sephora, Guitar Center, Kaufman’s Army & Navy, American Apparel, An American Craftsman, Etsy.com, American Girl Place, Anna Sui, Oscar de la Renta, Fresh Meat, Lingo, Idil Vice, Jacques Torres, Kee’s, The Container Store, and Dave’s New York.

First, I obviously know about Etsy. (If you don’t know what I know, look through the archives for my Etsy posts. In short, I’m addicted.) And I know American Apparel. The underpants maker that now makes outerpants too. And the owner, Dov, seems to be a bit daft.

Let’s see what I can see about the other companies and their American-made-ness via the Internets.

Sephora. Largest cosmetics and makeup retailer in the U.S. Pretty darn huge in Europe too. Not made here, as far as I can tell. (Though I did find one American-made Sephora body butter product online. Not sure what body butter is, but I should probably get some.)

Guitar Center. They sell all sorts of brands. I’m sure there are plenty of American-made guitars; Gibson makes some in Memphis and in Nashville. Not sure if they also make some abroad as well.

Kaufman’s Army & Navy. A military surplus store in Manhattan. Military surplus is a great way to buy used, and buy American–as long as the surplus goods were MITUSA to begin with (which presumably some military goods are).

An American Craftsman. Just what it sounds like. Arts and crafts from America. Like Etsy, but in real life.

American Girl Place. American Girl dolls have always seemed strange to me. Now I have a good reason to think they’re strange. Look back at their name… Now look at this: Made in China. My irony interest is waning.

Anna Sui. Clothing designer. Makes shoes too. The shoes are made in Italy. The clothes are… I’ll be damned. At least some of her clothes, available at Nordstrom’s, are Made In The USA.

Oscar de la Renta. Looks like Oscar makes American clothes too. Not all (I did find a Chinese-made item online), but at least some American-made ODLR stuff is available online at Neiman Marcus.

Fresh Meat. I don’t know what this is. I like meat though.

Lingo. A store on West 19th street in NYC that features handmade stuff for girls–clothes, jewelry, whatever. Another real world Etsy, it would appear.

Idil Vice. Not to be confused with a horrible-sounding band on Myspace with a similarly spelled name, this Idil Vice makes clothes. And this one does it in Manhattan. Not the one in Kansas either; the other one. And Idil Vice is her name. She’s a she. She makes clothes in Manhattan. New York. Remember?

Jacques Torres. Chocolatier. Made in New York–or wherever the store you’re buying from is located. Which brings up a coffee-like conundrum: chocolate comes from cocoa beans. Where do cocoa beans come from?

Kee’s. Chocolatier. Repeat sentence from above.

The Container Store. This store I have plenty of experience with. I would be surprised if much of anything inside it is MITUSA. Or necessary, for that matter.

Dave’s New York. Retailer of working-man stuff. Carhartt clothes (which are MITUSA, as I recall), Redwing boots (ditto) and several other things for guys in unions–which are frequently followed by the sentence “Union-made in the USA.”

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