As the iconic American made brand, American Apparel, comes to a close within these next few months, we will remember their liberal and outspoken influence as they made their mark on the fashion industry (not to mention the scandalous drama and allegations against former CEO Dov Charney).
American Apparel has always been been at the forefront of political activism and expressing their stance and support through their clothing. Even on their website, American Apparel has a designated "Political Activism" tab listed in their "About Me" as a direct representation of who they are and who they represent, everyone.
This quote was taken directly from the American Apparel website...
"As a company, we have certain resources that individual activists do not. We try to use that special ability to support political causes that need help. American Apparel regularly uses its billboards, advertisements, press contacts and even printed t-shirts to speak out about important issues. Our two biggest issues have been Immigration Reform and Gay Rights".
"Make American Gay Again"
American Apparel helped the community by providing a larger platform for individuals to express their political activism. As a Los Angeles based company, they really stuck to their roots and contributed heavily to their community, demanding change and equality. Even during the recent presidential election, American Apparel had the ultimate clap-back, releasing their oh so memorable "Make American Gay Again" red hat and super fly tees!
As huge supporters of the LGBTQ community, American Apparel dared to defy the social norms and demanded a more diverse America!
In 2014, allegations against CEO Dov Charney began arising, making it difficult for the company to stay out of the press. The allegations against Charvey, included publishing of nude pictures of employees online, dancing naked on stage at a company function, sexting and the misuse of company money. This all resulted in the board’s unanimous decision to fire Dov Charney in 2014. Mr. Charney and his lawyers have denied any misconduct.
Lewd conduct by executives is nothing new and is readily forgiven if a company is still growing fast. However, American Apparel had long lost its magic touch with young customers, and a year after Mr Charney’s ousting, it was actively seeking a buyer to avoid bankruptcy.
I wanted to know what it has been like for employees of the the iconic company, and how working for American Apparel has influenced them directly.
Tell me about your experience working there?
-For the most part I really enjoyed working for American Apparel. I was a visual merchandiser so I did the window displays and dressed mannequins. The company would send out style guides, but you didn't have to completely follow them so I enjoyed the creative freedom. Having awesome co-workers also made it a fun environment.
What have you heard about the CEO?
-I remember when I first got hired at American Apparel in the employee handbook there was a form you had to sign that you would not speak poorly of Dov Charney. Listening to him during conference calls I remember him being very blunt and spoke as if he had no filter. And of course I've heard of all the sexual harassment charges against him from co-workers which probably was a big part of the company's bankruptcy.
Are you going to buy anything in their closing sales?
-I still have a few things from when I was working there so I'm not really planning on it.
Do you think customers value clothing that's ethically made, or is it all about look and price?
-I think ethically made clothing is one of their selling points and I think that's part of what appeals to the American Apparel customer.
Here we interview, my colleague, Nick Frankel. You may recognize him from my Mammoth Suits collection.
Shot on Superbowl Sunday in North Lake Tahoe
(Note: Casually Uncommon does not endorse any one political party,
but keeps an open mind for the gain of knowledge and information.)
You've found my blog!