Sunday, September 20, 2015

Whatever Happened to Gitano and EVA JOIA? Pull Up A Chair...

Whatever happened to Gitano and EVA JOIA?

There are a few things I noticed about Gitano's Eva Joia brand in the 80s (I think it was roughly 1986 it came out.) I noticed that the girls were mostly not smiling, and that they appeared to be very styled, pushing the envelope as far as fashion-- lots of layering, mismatching patterns, avant garde hair. It wasn't the typical Sears catalog fashion I was used to seeing.

Fancy brands were super expensive and carried in  department stores,  but this brand was in stores like Gemco, Wal-Mart and other such discounted spots, giving girls a feel of snobby poshness at an affordable price for their parents. Genius.

And it was a CLUB you belonged to.

The three blondes? In the club. The happy redhead? Not yet in the club. It was 80s mean girls in the making, exclusionary tactics at their best in the marketing of this brand.

You would of course probably have THIS in your room while you were contemplating all of this new information....

A CLUB? Where I send for a special BUTTON and MEMBERSHIP CARD!? Well, hell yeah, let's DO THIS!

Ads like this were appearing for young girls in Barbie Magazines

And many of us had started on our caboodles, trying to look like those models...

Cute watches? Berets? Floral outfits!? Why,YES PLEASE we thought.

We even called our friends on one of these to talk about it, or say how dumb we thought it was, while secretly being intrigued.

Even the smallest of girls were encouraged to join the club and be mini-bitches who knew it all

I was all for pastels, so I thought it was super cute. Oh, by the way, all of these pictures came off Pinterest and are not mine! Not claiming ownership whatsoever.

And they made sure to throw in other ethnicities after the initial pure white campaigns. They were no fools.

Don't you want to be a PART OF US?!

What happened to the club? I wanted to know. So I did some research on this trademark.

 The EVA JOIA GIRL trademark was filed on 4/3/86, but by March 1987 the trademark was abandoned, with this message: "602 - Abandoned-Failure To Respond Or Late Response"

Then there was the EVA JOIA CLUB  trademark, which was closed down for a Section 8 Affidavit. What the hell does that mean? For a trademark to remain valid, a section 8 needs to be filed (1) between the fifth and sixth year following registration. Not done Eva Joia!  It was completely done by 1993-08-30 (CANCELLED SEC. 8 (6-YR). What happened in 1993?

Things started getting tough for Gitano y'all. Turns out that in 1991 and 1992 they had violated United States customs laws and got in huge trouble. Trouble as in felony charges. A 2.7 million dollar shipment of their women's tops was produced in Malaysia (a country who had already exceeded their quotas--the U.S. was not taking anything else from them that year.)  Gitano wanted those shirts to please their largest carrier, Wal-Mart,  sooooo they decided to falsify paperwork and labels to conceal the fact that the clothes came from Malaysia. Here you go Wal-Mart! Here is some more product! Members of Gitano were investigated by the government and ended up pleaded guilty to exceeding clothing import quotas.

Wal-Mart found out about the illegal activity and went through the roof! They had a policy that they would never deal with suppliers that have pleaded guilty to Federal offenses and straight pulled all Gitano clothing off their shelves, which literally sank the entire Gitano brand. 

In 1991 Gitano reported a  loss of $62.5 million on sales of $781 million. Ruh roh. They started selling off their fringe brands like *sniff* Eva Joia, but they still owed way too much to creditors. They declared bankruptcy and were acquired by Fruit of the Loom in 1994 for 100 million dollars (30 million less than they owed creditors.) I think they are still around in some way, shape or form, because I just looked them up on Amazon and they are STILL ALIVE.  Not Eva Joia mind you, but Gitano. So there you go: As most tales of the 80s go, this cute lil clothing brand came crashing down because of lies and greed. 

Til Next Time!

Saturday, May 31, 2014

Blame These Toys for My Fashion Sense Today

Did you guys have Fashion Plates? Holy Smurf they were awesome, as I have mentioned on this blog before. I got them when I was six from my Aunt Darla, who, in fact, wore a fierce white hat to her wedding, but I digress. Fashion Plates were stencils of hairstyles, tops and bottoms/shoes and you could put together outfits! There was even a tennis outfit! I didn't appreciate that outfit then, but it influenced me, because I now walk around in a tennis outfit at least once a week, and on other days I find my self wanting to wear a big floppy sunhat or a plaid jumper with boots! Okay so maybe not the jumper, but I do love plaids around Christmas.

 Ohhhhh, hold me back. Hold me back. I can barely talk about the toy of ALL TOYS: The Golden Dream Barbie Fashion Face STYLING HEAD! There were other weird looking styling heads in the late 70s, early 80s with super long necks and alien heads, but this one was so awesome! I still have a thing for pink and gold. *exhales*. ANYWAY...This particular styling head had gold wire mixed in with the hair (They called it "Quick Curl" hair) and a little curling iron (held together by a rubber hand) and you could CURL THE HAIR!! I made so many bad ass hairstyles that I nearly went into a manic overload- it was just too glorious.

Did you guys have Fresh 'n Fancy!? I had one of their makeup kits- it wasn't this one above- it was one where you actually shot creamy goo into hollow, fat, pink pencils; waited for the goo to dry, and then sharpened those suckers. The lipsticks were NEON bright, deep pink, and a glowing red. The eye pencils were super bright creamy blue and of course lavender- what else?! I also had Fresh 'n Fancy hair extension kit where you could make streaks in the extensions and stick them in your nine year old hair. Uh, YES PLEASE!

Anyway, I have continued to have wayyyyyy too theatrical of make-up for everyday use, and I blame it on both this toy, and the Barbie Head- the makeup that came with it was meant for Phyllis Diller.

All right, off my chest.

Love you guys! Had to disable comments because I was getting depressed from so many people hating my guts- but for those of you who don't, thank you!!

Sunday, April 20, 2014

It's a Beautiful Day in the Neighborhood...


What's up Peeps? Haven't written in a while! Just started thinking about Mr. Roger's Neighborhood, and what it was all about. What WAS it all about? I remember him talking directly to the TV, taking off his shoes, changing his sweater, and talking a lot about Make-Believe in a soothing voice.

So I researched it a little, and here is the deal. Mr. Rogers, (his name was Fred by the way) was on a live TV show in the early fifties as a puppeteer- and he used many of those same puppets on the show we all watched in later years. It was on the live show that he started wearing those famous sneakers that he always changed into, because they were quieter than loud-ass tappy shoes and didnt disturb the show. Hmm- who knew? Anyway, they never showed him on the show, he was just the guy doing the puppets. After that he did some Canadian show where they built awesome sets, like a castle and what not, and he actually brought a lot of those cool sets to the States when he decided to do his own show.

Mr. Rogers thought kids' shows at the time were too crazy and in-your-face, and he wanted to do something slower paced and more calm. He thought kids could spot a phony a mile away, so he talked in his regular voice, red his fish, and tried to be his honest self, which is what we saw.

It was in 1968 that the show started to be on in the states- it was funded by Sears. Had no idea! Thank you Sears! He sang  "Won't You Be My Neighbor?" to us as he changed into his cardigan and what not- and If you recall, there was a little red and yellow trolley that rolled by with some fast piano music, and it took us into the Land of Make-Believe. The real Mr. Rogers always liked trolleys, so he decided to have one on the show. The trolley went through a cool tunnel in the wall- I always liked that part.

There was also Picture Picture- do you remember that? It was like a screen in a picture frame where he showed us things.


There were a bunch of characters in the land of Make-Believe- the one I remember most was King Friday- he always used big words and sounded important. His wife was Sara Saturday (cute, huh?) and they had that son, Prince Tuesday. Mr. Roger's real life wife was named Sara, he named the puppet after her. Awww Freddie. I loved the castle! These images are from, if you want to see more.

There was an owl named "X" in a tree, and my favorite, Henrietta Pussycat, who was a cute lil thing. She always used the word meow- such as "I need to meow meow before I meow myself to death."

I am sure none of you forgot Lady Elaine Fairchild and that little yellow tiger, Daniel.

There was also real people in that land besides Mr. Rogers- there was Lady Aberlin, who was the niece of King Friday, and Mr. McFeely who was the mailman.

Mr Rogers couldn't stand ad-libbing and was a perfectionist- I can relate. He actually guest-starred on Sesame Street once- I must have missed that!

He passed away in 2003=( One city put up this billboard:

Wednesday, April 17, 2013

80's Teenagers: So Bitchen

I was a kid in the 80's, as you guys know. I always wondered what it would be like to be a TEENAGER in the 80's- and now I can: There is a book out called The Eighties: A Bitchen Time To Be a Teenager! that I am about to read, because 1) I love anything 80's and 2) The author, Tom Harvey, is very funny and very cool. I had the chance to interview him, and he let me ask him everything I have wanted to know about being a teen in the coolest decade like, ever:

Q: Who was the biggest sex symbol to you and your buddies in the 80's?

A: In terms of pure smoldering lustness (is that a word?), I definitely have to go with Kelly LeBrock. She was in The Woman In Red (1984), Weird Science (1985) and, later, the Steven Segal movie Hard To Kill (1990). With her full pouty lips and English accent, she was definitely the babe of her time! I also thought Rosanna Arquette was cute and loved her in 8 Million Ways to Die (1986) and The Big Blue (1988). She had a more girl-next-door look and I thought she was mighty cute.

Q:What clothing signified COOL in your teen years? For both guys and girls?

A: In terms of fashion statements, the New Wave click definitely lead the way. Even in Central California, the people who listened to Oingo Boingo, Devo, Depeche Mode, Adam and the Ants, and The B-52s stood out. Pants with zippers all over the place, black leather jackets with zippers all over the place. Girls wore tight mini-skirts with bright stripes. The Preppies, on the other hand, wore Izod polo shirts, Levi 501s, and Sperry Topsiders. I eventually morphed from being a “stoner” (long hair, Van Halen-concert-shirt-wearing) to a Prep when I got a job and was able to buy a pair of Sperrys (they were $54 and that was a lot of money).

Q:What TV shows did you love? What were some that you couldn't stand and why?

A: Early on in the decade, we watched That’s Incredible! and Real People. We also loved the HBO show, Not Necessarily The News. As I progressed into my teens, I didn’t have a lot of time to watch TV so shows like Miami Vice, Cheers, and The Wonder Years passed me by.

Q:What are your top five movies of the 80s?

A: REALLY tough question! REALLY tough, but to honor your question and answer it literally, here’s my list: Fast Times at Ridgemont High (1982), The Goonies (1985), The Breakfast Club (1985), To Live and Die in LA (1985), Top Gun (1986). I could easily come up with 2 dozen more!

Q:What is the main thing that you consider different now as far as teenagers?

A: Easily, technology. Back in the early 80s, the phone industry was regulated so we only had one phone in the house! If you wanted another phone, you had to go to PacBell and buy a brick of a phone for something completely outrageous (something like $100 to $200, and that was A TON of money at the time), then the phone company had to come out and activate another phone jack at your residence. By 1984, phones were available at the drug store and my 16th birthday present was a phone for my bedroom – still on the same one phone line we had – but that was monumental! My brother used to quietly pick up the kitchen phone and listen to me talking to girls. He’d then critique my conversation afterward! Argh!

        Or course social media keeps everyone connected all the time now so there isn’t the separation anxiety today that we felt at high school graduation back then. Once we graduated from high school, our lives REALLY changed. People went their separate ways and we never saw each other again.

Q:If you had to choose one music video to sum up the 80s in a nut shell, what would it be?

A: In my college speech class at Cal State Northridge (1988), a girl got up and talked about how music videos stifle peoples imaginations. After you watch a video and hear the song, you immediately think of the video. She was very persuasive so I tried very hard NOT to watch music videos so I could picture the music in my own mind. Having said that, My MOST FAVORITE video of all time is easily Herbie Hancock’s Rockit.

Q:What was the most overrated thing about the 80s? Underrated?

A: Overrated, wow that’s a hard one. I may get some flak for this but Mike Tyson comes to mind. The guy was just a pure fearless machine starting out. They’d ring the bell and he’d literally run across the ring swinging knockout punches until his opponent crashed to the canvas. I remember going to class (my first year at Cal State Sacramento) and talking to some guys who had gone to Arco Arena to watch the Mike Tyson/Marvis Frazier fight (1986) on the big screen. They were in line for beer when the bell rang and missed the fight! It was over after the first punch landed on poor Frazier’s nose! Of course Tyson resorted to biting poor Evander Holyfield’s ears later in his career when he actually needed strategy over pure strength (and, obviously, didn’t know anything about strategy).

        As for underrated, the better word may be misunderstood (at least on my part) and the tie goes to Metallica and U2. The mullets on both of these bands threw me for a loop! In 1986, Metallica appeared on a flatbed truck in the parking lot of Tower Records in Sacramento for an unannounced show and I remember thinking, Big deal! Buncha hardcore Metal Heads! (They’ve since become one of my favorite bands and they are EPIC in concert!) U2, prior to The Joshua Tree, didn’t do anything for me either. I guess I took notice when Bono cut the mullet and stopped tucking his jeans into his cowboy boots!

Q:What were your thoughts on the New Romantic guys, like Duran Duran and such? Was there a certain group at school that liked this style of music and did they dress a certain way?

A: The introduction of what we called “New Wave” was definitely an alternative to “heavy metal/rock.” As I fell in the latter category, we listened to individual songs (ie, I remember liking Duran Duran’s “Wild Boys” and Depeche Mode’s “People Are People”) but couldn’t (or more likely, wouldn’t) admit to being a fan of these “punk rock” bands. The B-52s “Rock Lobster” was a huge hit in the early 80s and when the “punks” danced to that song, most people watched from the sidelines unsure of what to think. They were definitely their own group – the New Wavers – via zippered clothing, Converse hightops, cropped hairdos. The dudes with Mohawks and Butthole Surfer t-shirts were VERY hardcore. They’d come to school with clothes covered in random words written from permanent markers. Really “out there” for the more conservative times!

Q:What did you think of the 80's rock bands, like Van Halen, Def Leppard and such? Was there a certain group at school that liked this style of music and did they dress a certain way?

A: I took my musical cues from my brother who was two years older than me. The first concert we went to was After The Fire opening for Van Halen (now there’s a pairing) and then Night Ranger (Dawn Patrol tour) opening for Sammy Hagar (Three Lock Box tour). We definitely fell into the “heavy metal/stoner” group with our long hair, moustaches, and concert shirts with the ¾ sleeves. Since you mentioned Def Leppard, they’re one of my all-time favorites! Saw their Hysteria show front row at Arco Arena in 1988 and, 25 years later, saw their Viva Hysteria show at the Hard Rock Casino in Las Vegas. They still rock hard!

Q:I was a big WHAM! fan, but I was only a kid. What did the teenagers think of them back then?

A: George Michael of WHAM! really was a big hit. Their songs “Wake Me Up Before You Go Go” and “Careless Whisper were great songs to dance to. They were definitely considered “pop” – not heavy metal and not New Wave. I didn’t know anyone who didn’t like WHAM! When George Michael went solo, I used his song, “I Want Your Sex” in my stripping mix-tape. Let’s just say it worked well!

Q:What movie really got it right, as far as portraying 80's teenagers?

A: When you think of 80s teenager movies, you have to think of John Hughes and his trilogy: The Breakfast Club, Sixteen Candles, and Pretty in Pink. And while I love those three, the two movies I can watch over and over are Matthew Modine’s Vision Quest (1985) and Tom Cruise’s All The Right Moves (1983). These are clearly “guy” movies with sports and coming-of-age as central themes.

Q:What was the best 80's junk food in your eyes?

A: Back when I had an 18 year old stomach, I loved Big Macs and anything from Burger King. Also loved green burritos from Del Taco (green as opposed to red burritos, also available). As for candy, Pixie Sticks were little tubes of brightly colored pure sugar. I loved the cigar-sized Chick-a-Stick but absolutely could not stand Pop Rocks. Pop Rocks gave me a raging headache but they were a big hit when they came out. There was an urban legend about a kid’s head exploding after eating Pop Rocks and downing a soda!

Q:What were the top ten songs of the 80's in your eyes?

A: Yet ANOTHER nearly impossible question to answer! So I’m going to give you the ten that immediately come to mind in no particular order: Back in Black (AC/DC – 1980), Lucky Star (Madonna – 1984), Relax (Frankie Goes to Hollywood – 1984), Fascination (The Human League – 1983), Need You Tonight (INXS – 1987), Keep On Loving You (REO Speedwagon – 1981), Open Arms (Journey – 1981), Rock! Rock! (Till You Drop) (Def Leppard – 1983), Beat It (Michael Jackson – 1982), Don’t You Forget About Me (Simple Minds – 1985). So many good songs! I couldn’t even squeeze in Bruce Springsteen, Cyndi Lauper, Lionel Ritchie, Air Supply, Paul Simon, Whitney Houston, etc., etc.!

Thank you Tom for answering my questions and for giving us some insight into your brain!

Buy his book here on Amazon- Again, it is called  The Eighties: A Bitchen Time To Be a Teenager! A Memoir by Tom Harvey. Here is the description below- doesn't it sound awesome?

The decade of the 1980s has been called the Decade of Decadence. Decadence is defined as "the act or process of falling into an inferior condition or state; deterioration; decay" or my favorite, "unrestrained or excessive self-indulgence." For a decade that brought us Cabbage Patch Kids, Garbage Pail Kids, leg-warmers and New Wave, was it really a state of deterioration?! For one kid growing up in the Central Valley of California, it was a time of self-discovery . . . a transformation from a kid, to a teenager, to a young adult . . . his growing up years. At times utterly hilarious, at times poignant and powerful, Tom relives his teenage years in this true-to-the-last-word memoir. Where were you when John Lennon died? When the Space Shuttle blew up? When Lawrence Taylor ended Joe Theisman's career on live TV? When the Loma Prieta earthquake rocked Game 3 of the 1989 World Series? Tom will tell you where he was and what it meant to him. You'll also hear about first kisses, first loves, a joke about your Uranus, avoiding fistfights, the joys of minimum-wage jobs, college roommates, and WHOLE LOT MORE. If you're one of the 70 million Americans who can claim at least one teen year in the decade, you can relate to the era . . . if your kids can't understand your fondness for your Breakfast Club and Princess Bride DVDs, this book may teach them a thing or two about YOUR growing up years. Go ahead, say the word "bitchen" outloud. Yeah, it was a bitchen time, the Eighties . .

Til next time, folks!

Tuesday, April 16, 2013

Stop Your Whining: Barbie isn't Supposed to Be Human. She's a FRICKIN DOLL.

I just saw a segment on The View. It was yet another study on what Barbie would look like if she were human with those proportions of hers. She would have to crawl on the floor because her feet are so small, she wouldn't be able to stand, etc etc etc. Guess what, you f*ckheads? She is a DOLL. She wasn't created to be a replica of a human for a medical class.

Most dolls are exaggerated- almost ALL of them are! What if Cabbage Patch Kids were human!? They would have gigantic heads that would be so heavy that their faces would hit the floor. What if La La Loopsy were real?! People would be blind because their eyes would be motherf-ing buttons. What if Strawberry Shortcake were real? She would be three feet f-ing tall and the constant smell of berries would bring her nausea.

Barbie is a fantasy doll. A doll who fits into cool clothes and who has cool hair. I didn't want to stretch her gold sparkly dress over wide mom hips. I didn't want to put on her metallic pink bikini on an A-cup. I wanted the bitch to look good! Not like ME, or anyone I knew. I wanted her to look fantastic. And she did.

Did Barbie cause my teenage eating disorders? Possibly. I don't know. Will have to visit a shrink. Did I think my body should look like hers in my twenties? I wished it would. But let's get real- anyone who thinks they should look like a doll is nuts in the head. Me included.

Keep Barbie the fantasy doll. She looks great in her clothes. She has waist long princess hair and feet bent to fit into pumps. Let's not be haters.

Wednesday, April 3, 2013

Barbies in 1985

 I loved 1985 and I loved Barbie. But I don't remember having these Barbies from 1985! The one above is Magic Moves Barbie (thank you to flickriver, where I got these pics). Did I already do a post on her? I can't remember. Anyway, her big thing was that she moved all by herself, people! And she wore this ice blue outfit and had super frosted hair!

 The back of the box is hilarious- it shows all of the "moves" she can do- which consist of her in 20 poses with her boa/cape. She could have taken those same pictures without the special "moves" feature! But we didn't care- we wanted the new outfit and the slightly different hairstyles of these Barbies!

 Have I already mentioned Dream Glow Barbie? She has a cute ponytail that we tried to leave in, but then we HAD to brush her hair so we removed the little clear rubberbands. Dream Glow Barbie had stars on her dress that GLOWED people. If you had a black light, you could see them better than the rest of us, who had to go in a closet.

 And if that wasn't enough, you could get a Dream Glow BED! Fancy!!

 Speaking of fancy, here is a little hair accessories kit from 1985. Curlers (that didn't work but were cute), a tiara (always necessary in my world) and some other stuff that I can't tell what it is, are all included in this kick ass kit. That extra braid of hair was always good for up dos and general fanciness!
 Wha wha wha whaaaaaaaaaaaaaa! A little fashion mall? I believe this is from the 70's, but I had to throw it in here. It looks like a little vinyl carrying case that opens into a FASHION PLAZA! With a little bridal salon! So cool. Loving the escalator.

And lastly, another 1985 Barbie I do not remember: FUN TIME Barbie, who came with a real watch, to capitalize on the SWATCH fad of the mid 80's. She came with a real watch, that of course looked like a Swatch. And there was a frickin watch on her shirt! That is hilarious. She looks really cute though- cute earrings and hair!