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The first day of my junior year poetry workshop, my professor — a Vespa-driving disciple of Frank O’Hara — asked us to write a list of whatever we enjoyed. He then assembled a string of sounds from our best lines, like a reverse-engineered “My Favorite Things,” which was also liberated from the yokes of regular cadence, or syntax, or exact rhyme. He knew the importance of play.
It is in my professor’s footsteps that I bless you with the delightfully weird verse of ASOS product descriptions. I was tooling around on the site several weeks back when I first noticed the William Shatner-slash-William Carlos Williams-esque bullet points popping up, gradated and sly, just above each product page’s fold. (The brand tells Racked that item descriptions have taken on a more poetic air over the last six months.)
They’re like Snapple facts with attitude, and now that I know they exist, I can’t stop trying to read them all.
Here, we find an eclectic mix of influences, including Aaliyah, Ice Cube, and Trojan brand condoms in the ’90s. Truly the “We Didn’t Start the Fire” of retail copywriting.
Care instructions, but make it Jenny Holzer truisms.
I saw the best minds of my generation destroyed by pajama pants with too many amenities.
I assume this is a satirical take on the realities of beauty under capitalism.
Tell me this isn’t the kind of shit you whisper over bongos.
I can’t not hear this in the voice of Ghostface Killah.
Cheers to you, ASOS copywriters, for bucking the cacophony of adorkable portmanteaus trend, and instead burying such satisfying Easter eggs below the delicate ombre frost line of your UI team’s interface. I don’t know how many people actually read product descriptions before deciding whether or not to buy your clothes, but in this fast-fashion existence, it’s nice to take a line break once in a while.