After years of making headlines for controversies and scandals, surrounding CEO Dov Charney's misconduct and multiple bankruptsies in a mere 13 months, American Apparel is coming full circle. Earlier this week, Quebec-based Gildan Activewear won the $88 million auction to buy American Apparel. Returning to its Canadian roots, Gildan won American Apparel's intellectual property rights and some manufacturing equipment but, in terms of retail outlets and online retailer, only time will tell what is in the future for the ephemeral American Apparel brand.
American Apparel Dov Charney was born and raised in Québec where he founded the company in 1989 before ultimately moving the brand to Los Angeles. American Apparel, known for suggestive ad campaigns and the "Made in the USA" promise, has had some bumps along the road to say the least. In the span on 13 months, the company had filed for bankruptsy twice (once in October 2015 and again in November 2016) and has been riddled with sexual harassment lawsuits involving Charney and multiple American Apparel employees, including but not limited to sexually suggestive text messages and emails and attire.
Former CEO of American Apparel Dov Charney was asked to step down in 2014 since founding the company in 1989 after alleged sexual misconduct (Photo courtesy of HNGN.com)
Unfortunately, the legacy of this once-promising company (listed in the top 500 in Inc.'s 2005 list of the 500 fastest growing companies in the United States) may be the (very) public missteps of the company's head and not the positive steps made towards the trend of buying local, of protesting sweatshops and the standard of outsourcing the manufacturing of goods. Either way, the legacy of American Apparel lives on- whether through the new ownership, the Canadian mark on the international market, or the (in)famy of the brand.
By ROWAN DALKIN
Banner photo courtsey of the Chicago Tribune
American Apparel, known for their sexually suggestive ads, has a 100 day limited license to continue running their e-commerce and retail outlets (Photo courtesy of American Apparel)