Allan Kaprow’s Travelog Reinvented with MOCA

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Your Receipt is in the Bag: Stephen Hepworth in San Diego, California

Stephen Hepworth’s group, Your Receipt is in the Bag, solicited opinions in a retail setting similar to Lux et Obscuritas. This group visited various shops in San Diego malls and pushed the sales associates to pick clothing for them based on only their physical appearance.


Six different clothing stores in the San Diego area where chosen and then visited with a team of six people. The stores were chosen as they represented a range of different merchandise appealing to a different youthful demographic. In each of the stores an assistant would be identified and asked to choose a different top for each of the different team members. Each team member would then be photographed wearing the top and then the assistant would be asked to choose which was his or her favorite top and explain why. The top was then purchased. The assistant was asked to provide their name, age, gender, where they were from, ethnicity and how long they had been living in San Diego. Photographs were taken of the store, the selection of a top, and of the selected team member with the assistant. The project was explained to the assistant when they were approached.

Considered Stores
Armani Exchange
Abercrombie and Fitch
American Eagle
Old Navy
Sun Diego
Banana Republic
Hot Topic
American Apparel
Urban Outfitters
Nordstrom (other department stores)

Chosen (info from company website or mall website)
American Apparel – Hillcrest
American Apparel is known for comfortable clothing as well as provocative photography.

Abercrombie and Fitch – Fashion Valley
Abercrombie & Fitch focuses on providing high-quality merchandise that compliments the casual classic American lifestyle. The merchandise is sold in retail stores throughout the United States and through catalogs.

Banana Republic – Fashion Valley
While maintaining its sense of the classic and its superb quality, Banana Republic has increased its attention to fashion. Featuring fashions for men and women, Banana Republic means classic style that is current and self-assured but never trendy. Banana Republic also carries accessories for the home.

Hot Topic – Mission Valley
Origins-The Birth of the Loudest Store in the Mall:
It all started in 1988. Guns N’ Roses, Def Leppard and Bon Jovi were #1 on the charts, and hair scrunchies, bolo ties and aviator sunglasses were everywhere. A ton of junior accessory and apparel chain stores filled shopping malls, but there wasn’t a cool accessory store for both guys and girls. Then came Hot Topic.

In the fall of 1989, Hot Topic opened its doors in Westminster, California. We’d love to tell you it was a huge success, with hundreds of teens clawing their way into the store, but we’d be lying. Sales were disappointing. Some days we barely made a hundred bucks. Was founder Orv Madden’s vision doomed? It was time to take a step back and re-evaluate. First, our location in the mall wasn’t the best. How the heck could we sell anything if nobody could find us? Then we looked at what was selling-costume jewelry. We started buying more stuff like cross necklaces, unisex earrings and leather bracelets and got rid of hair scrunchies, men’s ties and dress socks. Hot Topic found a niche and its name was music-influenced accessories. Whether it was fingerless gloves like Billy Idol or glam metal bootstraps like Poison, music was definitely the driving force behind teen fashion. After our Westminster customers gave us a reality check, we packed our bags, moved to Montclair, California and rocked their mall with the first Hot Topic store to carry all music-influenced accessories for teens.

As business increased in 1990, adding apparel seemed like a no-brainer, and what better way than to add the ultimate music fan essential-rock tees. At the time, finding a rock tee wasn’t easy. You had to buy ’em from catalogs, small record stores or at concerts. It was unheard of to see a rock tee at the mall, so imagine how our customers flipped when they were able to purchase Bauhaus, The Cure, TSOL and Depeche Mode T-shirts at Hot Topic. Not surprisingly, these 4 titles blew out, so more alternative bands were added. Within a year, we had about 50 different band titles, and rock-inspired clothing lines like Lip Service and Serious were a big chunk of the business. By the end of 1990, we had opened 3 more stores in California and by 1994, Hot Topic was 50% accessories and 50% apparel. In 1995, Hot Topic had 29 stores open in the Western U.S. and one Midwest store in the Mall of America in Minneapolis, MN. We were ready to take the East Coast by storm and opened store #31 in Staten Island, NY. Our customers loved it, and we got a lot of suggestions that we took to heart. Hot Topic has always been about getting feedback, listening and testing new ideas and products. We’re cool like that. Just like with the whole alternative music thing, Hot Topic customers were drawn to the underground cartoon, cult movie and comic book scenes. It was a unique culture they could call their own, and it was difficult to find merchandise from these licenses. Hot Topic brought the world of South Park, Care Bears, Superman, SpongeBob SquarePants and lots of other pop icons into our stores. In 1996, with about 60 stores, Hot Topic became a publicly traded company on the NASDAQ under the symbol HOTT. The cash from our public offering allowed us to open more stores across the country. Hot Topic, Inc. continues to rock the malls. There are Hot Topic stores in all 50 states and Puerto Rico. you.

Old Navy – Fashion Valley
Old Navy’s mission is to offer affordable, fashionable clothing and accessories for adults, kids, baby, and Moms-to-be.

Sun Diego – Fashion Valley
Operating as retail stores located all over San Diego County,California , we constantly strive to bring to our customers the best selection of surf/skate/snow apparel and related hardgoods and accessories. There are six Sun Diego stores located within the San Diego area and one store in Temecula. We also have The Blue Room in Fashion Valley Mall, where we carry more specialty items. We value our customers and are proud to have served you for over 20 years. In our efforts to bring you the best and latest products in the industry, we have partnered up with over 200 different companies. We also pride ourselves on our service. Most of our employees participate in one or more of the sports that we represent. Our goal is to make you a customer for life, so we make it our mission to hire friendly and outgoing people and constantly supply them up-to-date information on the latest and greatest in our industry.

Finished form
A folder of images and gathered information, plus descriptions of the store drawn from their company website, the mall’s website and additional information from Wikipedia. Analysis of the information gathered. The purchased items in their bags with their receipts.

The Group
Stephen Hepworth (group leader)
Mary Evangelista
Laura Kwak
Rishi Chadha
Belinda Bijun Sun
George Bolster