American Apparel introduces Hasidic male model to coincide with Rosh Hashanah

Latest series of photographs stars a fully-clothed Hasidic Jewish man

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The Independent US

Adverts for the clothing brand American Apparel often arrive to a cacophony of backlash, outrage and controversy, featuring - as they often do - sexualised images of young women.

Their latest series of photographs starring a fully-clothed Hasidic Jewish man could therefore be considered quite a departure from the usual brand identity.

In a move, seemingly inspired by the imminent arrival Rosh Hashanah, the Jewish New Year,  photographs of Brooklyn-born Yoel Weisshaus, 32, first appeared on the the clothing giant's Tumblr account last week.

Mr Weisshaus, who is seen in the photographs sporting a skull cap, payos and a flowing beard, is currently studying accounting at Bergen Community College, New Jersey and has gained a measure of fame for suing the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey over its controversial toll hikes.

In each of the American Apparel shots he is pictured wearing an Oxford long-sleeve button-up white shirt, black trousers and black leather shoes.

Mr Weisshaus, who is described by the fashion brand as a "peasant with chutzpah," told the Jewish Telegraph: "I am a peasant because we are all peasants, here in Amerikeh. Here, we work harder than we live!"

He also said his family approved of the shots: "If they had a problem, it’s with the other [American Apparel] models, not me."