July 25, 2010

American Apparel Still Sucks: Deep Inside the Brand

American Apparel sucks.

With hiring and firing practices that include only hiring “attractive” people; their pervy, porny ads featuring waifish, jail bait models some call reminiscent of kiddie porn; and the arrogant, sexist founder and CEO, Dov Charney, a guy who “masturbated in front of a reporter, sleeps with his employees, promotes hot 17-year-olds to replace veterans,” “sweat-shop free” or not, why would anyone shop or work there?

Well, for one thing, it’s a job in an economic climate that makes landing even a low-paying retail job harder and harder to come by. And, lots of young things are attracted to the very idea of working for a company that has such picky hiring standards. If you’re hired, well, that must mean you’re special and super hot.

In fact, that is exactly the reason a former employee started working for Dov’s retail porn palace and, in the end, the reason I received this letter chronicling the dirty details so many employees have come forth with lately. The details of the following letter aren’t a novelty (see letter after the jump). In fact, stories like these have become commonplace for American Apparel and Charney which is why this letter is worth posting.

After multiple sexual harassment suits and similar exposes, what is striking about this letter is the fact that nothing has changed. Charney is so arrogant and confident in himself and his “politically progressive,” “hipster” brand image that the public masturbation, bedding of employees and controversial hiring, firing and at-work practices continue blatantly and without apology.