Why 2000s Clothing Giant American Apparel Is in SERIOUS Trouble
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.
What do you think of American Apparel’s decline? Tell us @BritandCo!
(Photos via Getty)
It can be intimidating to step out on your own and build a business from the ground up. As part of our collaboration with Office Depot, we're talking with Selfmade alum and solopreneur Colette Lawrence, the faith-based motivator and relationship builder behind The M.E.E. Movement, about ways in which women in business can find success.
B + C: How did you know M.E.E. Movement was your business to start?
The M.E.E Movement represents motivation, empowerment, and encouragement for women. It is what represents me. I did not know at first that it was my business to start, but then the thought of monetizing what I loved came to me. It scared me, however. I registered the business in July 2020 and have been slowly building my wings since.
B + C: What's one strategy that's helped you start your business?
Thinking through and researching what the requirements are to start my business, and then asking questions of people who are in the business. Not all advice worked; however, it helped me to figure out what I needed to do and not to do.
B + C: Did you always know life coaching would be your entrepreneurial path?
(Smiles) No, I did not. I 'stumbled" on it. I knew that people were always coming to me for advice and I found that I loved having conversations with them, especially with women, young and old.
B + C: What was your most valuable takeaway from Selfmade?
My most valuable takeaway was the first day of training: Get out of your own way. There were a lot of great moments and important takeaways from every presenter. However, getting out of my own way, pushing past doubts, was for me my most valuable takeaway. Doing something that I had never done before took courage. If I do not focus on what is happening with me mentally then I cannot deliver to my clients successfully.
B + C: What's one piece of advice you would give to female entrepreneurs on the brink of starting?
Get out of your head. You have something to offer. You have what you need to succeed so go ahead and do it.
B + C: How do you stay motivated?
I stay motivated by listening to music and listening to motivational speakers, and sometimes someone will just reach out and talk about the impact that I made in their life. That adds the extra juice or sauce I need to pummel through the day.
B + C: What's your best organizational tip?
Keep a diary and journal. It's the best way for me to keep organized and it also provides a source motivation as I record not only my "losses" but my wins as well.
B + C: Who inspires you in the entrepreneurial space?
Shirley Toliver – She motivates and empowers and makes me always want to show up.
B + C: What has receiving the Office Depot scholarship to Selfmade done to help you start or grow your business?
The scholarship was a blessing in that all the areas that were covered offered valuable information that I needed, from social media to HR. As a new business owner, I needed to know this to increase my own personal awareness in what it takes to run a successful business. The candidness of the presenters made it easy to see myself in their shoes and helped me to realize that I can also get there.
Want to feel motivated to take the next step for your business? Let Office Depot OfficeMax give you the confidence you need with a suite of business services & solutions to help you put your best foot forward. Make a good first impression with business cards & build the business pitch of your dreams with custom presentations. With Office Depot OfficeMax you'll find the tools to reach new customers with confidence.
Head to Office Depot's Selfmade page to check out even more amazing business resources (and discounts!) to help you accomplish more on your entrepreneurial journey. These offers are available for a limited time only, so be sure to take advantage of all this goodness while supplies last. Want to join the next Selfmade cohort this summer? Check out all of the scholarship details right here.