A correspondent from Decatur, Ga., writes that he recently visited a new Wal-Mart in his neighborhood and noticed for the first time Wal-Mart's private label Faded Glory clothing and shoe line.
Faded Glory's tag line: "Fits the way America lives."
Faded Glory is not new. The brand has been around for decades, and though you can find numerous consumer complaints online about the fragile quality of the brand's jeans and underwear, the line has been financially successful.
But changing circumstances have a way of twisting the irony knife. There's always been some bitterness to be mined in the marketing paradox that clothing designed to trade off of images of Americana is overwhelmingly manufactured in places like Bangladesh and China. But that's old-school irony. I don't know what the original brand name was supposed to signify -- perhaps that iconic era where faded jeans epitomized the hardworking cowboy, herding cattle from Texas to the Chicago stockyards. But in 2008, when America's global reputation is at possibly its lowest ebb ever, and large swaths of American citizens feel left behind by the global economy and their own elected representatives, Faded Glory clothes -- cheaply made, so shoddy as to be practicably disposable, and yet commodified into the very spirit of how Americans currently live -- well, who says there ain't no truth in advertising?