A Sampling of Other Catalogs

By Staff

Vol. 11, No. 2, 1989, p. 15

The Land's End catalog is only one of many with racially discriminatory model selection. The following catalogs were received at one middle-income Alabama household over the past few months. While they obviously are not a comprehensive sampling of all the catalogs published in the U.S., they nevertheless show the pervasiveness of the problem.

  • Sporty's Preferred Living Catalog Christmas 1988. Sporty's, based in Batavia, Ohio, sells a line of aviation equipment and accessories, but also has a catalog featuring household gadgets, games and gifts. Minority models: None.
  • Eddie Bauer Gifts, 1988. Clothing, shoes, linens, gifts. Based in Seattle, Washington. Minority models: a few appearances in a 124-page catalog.
  • L.L. Bean Winter Values 1989. Clothing, shoes, outdoor and recreational gear, gifts, items for the home. Based in Freeport, Maine. Minority models: None, although fewer of Bean's product illustrations feature models than most catalogs.
  • McRae's Trends 89, and McRae's Spring Rewards from Haggar. McRae's is a Jackson, Miss., regional department store chain. These particular circulars feature women's and men's fashions. Minority models: None (although McRae's does use black models in its newspaper supplement advertising).
  • Lillian Vernon Christmas 1988. Gifts, novelty and seasonal items from a Mount Vernon, N.Y., company. Minority models: None.
  • Gayfer's and Jantzen Swimsuit Circular, March 1989. Gayfer's is a department store chain; Jantzen is a leading swimwear manufacturer. Minority models: None.
  • Gayfer's Daisy Sale (newspaper supplement, March 1989). Minority models: Estimated 5 percent.
  • Service Merchandise Sale Catalog (Fall 1988). Service is a Nashville-based discount merchandiser with more than 320 stores nationwide. Minority models: None (Page 26 does include photos of both black and white Ken and Barbie dolls, and there is an illustration of a "Michael Jordan Lil' Sport basketball goal.").
  • Service Merchandise Spring &Summer 1989 Catalog. See also previous entry. Minority models: photo of Bill Cosby is in Kodak ad on page 85; child appearing with Playskool product on page 68 may be black; several minority children appear with white children in photos of playground equipment on page 58; otherwise, none.
  • J.C. Penney Easter 1989 Sale (newspaper supplement). Penney is a national department store chain. Minority models: Yes, children and adults.
  • Performance Bicycle Shop, Summer 1989. Based in Chapel Hill, N.C., this company sells clothing and accessories for cyclists. Minority models: 1 black male.
  • American Express The Spirit of Spring 1989 Catalog. Clothing, jewelry, art, furniture, electronics. Minority models: None.