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    The rise and fall of Esprit, SF’s coolest clothing brand

    In 1991, San Francisco clothing brand Esprit sent a note to 200,000 young people with a simple question: “What would you do to make the world better?” They turned the responses into a controversial ad campaign that ran on MTV and 11 other channels, giving teens the thrill of being heard and scandalizing their parents. “Give back the land stolen from Native Americans,” one ad demanded. “I would distribute condoms in every high school in America,” read another. “I’d keep a woman’s right to choose, unless George Bush is free to babysit.” In a country still grappling with the AIDS crisis, the Rodney King riots and the Gulf War, the…

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