I went out to dinner last night. The restaurant was in a mall. Not being a fan of malls, I walked around to photograph people who do like malls.
I also made my first visit inside of a Neiman Marcus store, only to use the restroom. Both stalls were out of toilet paper. You think in a store of this sort, they could have employees make sure the bathrooms are clean and stocked.
After using the restroom, I checked the price tag of a plain, simple scarf. $595. I sarcastically told the saleswoman that it must be on sale for that price… “it’s so cheap…”
Upon leaving the store, still feeling sarcastic, I asked the door woman, “Does Neiman Marcus carry any of the Bangladesh building collapse clothing?”
Door Woman: “I’m not sure if we carry that brand. Is it a popular line? I can ask my boss.”
Me: “So, you think they went in and salvaged the clothing from the ruins?”
Door Woman: Confused look.
I asked if she watches the news. Then I explained that a garment factory in Bangladesh collapsed two months ago, killing over 1,100 people. I told her that she should read about it considering she works in a store that sells imported clothing from impoverished nations where workers earn less than $1/day so her store can turn around and sell it for an absurd amount of money.
Photo from Taslima Akhter, a Bangladeshi photographer and activist.
After trying to educate Door Woman (which was pointless), I walked around, observing how security guards are hired to guard purses in stores like Coach, Prada and Gucci. I saw a $2200 bright yellow jacket made from python. I watched as shoppers wandered around aimlessly, gazing blankly at their iPhones, with shopping bags hanging from their arms. Their loot—like meth to an addict—a temporary fix.
It all just seemed a little surreal.