Be honest: You totally lived in American Apparel‘s lamé leggings and deep-V tees if you were a college student in the mid-2000s. Their racy ’70s-inspired ads made them SO edgy and cool back then, and their billboards were everywhere. But in recent years those sexy posters started to look a bit, well, creepy.. especially since many of the photos were done by controversial fashion photographer Terry Richardson, and company founder Dov Charney has had his own brushes with inappropriate sexual behavior. And that’s just the beginning of American Apparel’s troubles.
In recent years, it’s been either no news or bad news for American Apparel, and that trend shows no signs of stopping. Dov lost his gig as CEO to repair the company’s rep, and the company filed for bankruptcy last year. Now it looks like the company’s leadership is looking to sell it off if a suitable buyer can be found (Dov himself put in a bid of $300 million in January, but was rejected).
The latest updates are that the company may be considering moving its manufacturing facilities out of Los Angeles — which is kind of the whole point of the brand to begin with — and that two former factory workers have filed a lawsuit against the company. One of American Apparel’s claims to fame has been that it makes all its textiles in America, both employing people within the country and affording them significantly better wages and work protections than the textile workers in overseas factories where the majority of clothes are made. But, according to a New York Post story, the company may not renew the lease on its largest LA-based factory once it expires in 2019. And in April the company laid off 500 employees and started outsourcing production of its denim products.
Two former employees, Jeremias Pablo and Rene Ramos, have filed a lawsuit alleging they were fired after bringing up concerns about safety at the factory they worked in.
All told, things are not looking good for the clothing company that enjoyed near-ubiquitous status for several years. The downward spiral that started with young people turning to online shopping has been exacerbated by company scandals, and apparently that trend shows no signs of stopping.
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(Photos via Getty)