Spoofing American Apparel
From where I stand, the jury is still out on the American Apparel's various misdeeds. The owner, Dov Charney, is clearly an ass. But at the very least, you've got to credit the company for showing it's possible to make money selling sweatshop-free clothes -- and without relying on sales from the granola crowd.
(Thanks to Mark Hosler)
Posted by carrie on 08/28/2005 | Permalink
his name is DoV Charney, not Don. It's a Jewish thing.
Posted by: Neil Schwartzman | Aug 28, 2005 4:24:18 PM
Thanks! I corrected it.
Posted by: carrie | Aug 28, 2005 4:36:12 PM
But at the very least, you've got to credit the company for showing it's possible to make money selling sweatshop-free clothes -- and without relying on sales from the granola crowd.
You know what? You really don't. If anything, his success has only proven that porn can be used to sell ANYTHING.
And that many progressives will forgive any sort of gross misdeed if the misdoer says the right things.
Posted by: Bellum | Aug 28, 2005 6:10:27 PM
...progressives will forgive any sort of gross misdeed if the misdoer says the right things.
Give me a break. Most progressive sources I found (including the ITT article that I linked to) were very critical of the company...as is the spoof, obviously.
Dov Charney may be a deeply flawed human being and shouldn't be given a pass on his (and his company's) misdeeds, but that doesn't mean American Apparel has no redeeming value.
Posted by: carrie | Aug 29, 2005 12:35:20 PM
Actually, I wouldn't say that the company is "sweat-free." I know people who work there. The supervisors play favorites and yell at workers and threaten their jobs if they complain. The workers are under a lot of pressure to work fast in order to produce the clothing and to earn more than minimum wage. The workers are offered health insurance but have to pay part of the premium which is more than many can afford for themselves and their family.
Posted by: Joann | Aug 29, 2005 11:45:43 PM
I blogged about American Apparel and Dov a week or so ago, and got some passionate American Apparel lovers defending Dov: http://greenlagirl.blogspot.com/2005/08/american-apparel-redux.html
I think the bigger problem is that our choices for sweatshop free 'fits are so limited. We're left to pick between assholes and slave drivers. We have some sweatshop-free etailers, but their selections tend to be rather scant, not sexy, and un-try-on-able. Would American Apparel be such a big issue if we had other sweatshop free stores that sold cute clothes we could give the dressing room test?
Posted by: green LA girl | Aug 30, 2005 3:09:37 AM
I don't think that we should bash American Apparel because there's a chance that the owner might harass women. We don't know if he does or not. All we know is two quotes from him that are taken out of context (you could write an article with a reference to the 'kike' post if you wanted to "prove" that Carrie was anti-semitic).
Secondly, we don't know what all of their ads look like, if they're really offensive or just a little too sexual (it is clothes, which relate more directly to sex appeal than, say, beer or Carl's Jr.).
It's depressing when you try to make your business more socially conscious because people just end up bashing you anyway. I've experienced it firsthand with the business that I own.
Posted by: Cody Wilmer | Aug 30, 2005 5:02:22 PM
"and without relying on sales from the granola crowd."
yeah, it is indeed much much kewler that they depend on sales from the sorority girl (&or) bobo crowd.....
Posted by: range rover | Aug 31, 2005 9:11:49 PM
"and without relying on sales from the granola crowd."
Ewww. We wouldn't want any of *their* money. They might ask us to behave in a socially responsible fashion, or somthing else uncool.
Posted by: John M. Burt | Sep 1, 2005 2:43:04 AM
range rover and John: You are missing the point. It isn't that the granola's money doesn't spend, it just doesn't appear to spend enough to make the rest of the clothiers notice. For social responsibility to become worthwhile to business it has to appeal to more than the crunchy crowd.
Maybe American Apparel can change the prevailing thinking and there will actually be less sweatshop labor. I can dream, right?
Posted by: Charles | Sep 1, 2005 2:50:24 AM
The aticle you linked to when you click on misdeeds is reproduced from in these times. that site printed a retraction about some of the charges and claims made by the writer of the evidently poorly researched article.
The original article is located here:
and it contains two retractions.
Posted by: Eva | Sep 13, 2005 4:45:42 PM
Bellum said "porn these ads are not. Where are the naked can be used to sell ANYTHING" umm...have you ever SEEN porn, cause these ads are not that. I mean, where are the naked vagina's and erect penises? where was the ad with penetration. please, don't confuse sexual and pornographic (and ALL fashion ads are sexual).
Joann said "The workers are under a lot of pressure to work fast in order to produce the clothing and to earn more than minimum wage. The workers are offered health insurance but have to pay part of the premium which is more than many can afford for themselves and their family."
I've spent a lot of time over in the factory. The workers get paid based on how much they produce as a team. It's a great system, and they all make well above minimum wage (generally between 13-19 dollars an hour) based on this system.
Health care is offered $8/week. That's pretty damn cheap, no?
Posted by: ILoveAA | Sep 14, 2005 10:36:46 PM
You are full of shit.
The workers at AA pay $8 per week for Blue Cross Health insurance. The company is spending over 2.5 million dollars per year to offfer insurance to its people.
The worker moral in the factory is 100%. Why not just come down and visit before shooting your mouth off.
Posted by: Tina | Oct 5, 2005 3:27:01 AM
im doing a magzine piece right now on this debate-- especially for women, balancing the desire to buy sweat-free clothing and not support someone who may be a chauvinist ass...
im also interested in how american apparel may not be sweat-free.
i'd love to talk to talk to any and all of you...
please repond to me directly at email@example.com.
Posted by: annie | Oct 12, 2005 7:51:45 PM
Joann knows people who work in the factory--kindly read her post before shooting YOUR mouth off. She doesn't need to make a trip there, unless you'd prefer she do so to meet some official company cheerleaders.
You AA shills are completely full of shit, and you aren't fooling anyone.
Posted by: Noshills | Oct 13, 2005 12:05:08 PM
i've been an american apparel employee for almost a year. i don't "know" people who work there, i actually work there myself. people aren't yelled at for no reason, and as far as workers being "put under a lot of pressure to work fast," what job doesn't put pressure on you to be quick and efficient? And if it were true that Dov is a "chauvinist and homophobic ass," you'd think me being gay and working side-by-side with him would've posed a problem by now.
Posted by: rudy | Nov 10, 2005 4:41:34 AM
Oh c'mon green LA girl. Beer is sexy. Most girls look better after beer! If it wasn't for beer, a lot of people would never have been born (ok G Bush Sr, fess up, was George Jr conceived after beer?), but someone great must have been an alcohol conception.
Posted by: Bob | Nov 13, 2005 5:30:53 PM
THE CRISIS IN EDUCATION IN THIS COUNTRY IS SEVERE. HELPING CHILDREN TO SEE THE IMPORTANCE OF HIGHER PERSONAL GOALS FOR THEIR EDUCATION SHOULD BE YOUR MESSAGE.
IN STEAD YOU HAVE JOINED THE CRUDE, DUMB DOWN CLUB OF COMPANIES WHICH PUT SHOCK VALUE AND SEX IN THEIR MESSAGE TO YOUNG PEOPLE AND ACTUALLY TEACH BAD BEHAVIOR.
ARE YOU TRYING TO INSURE A JOB BASE FOR YOUR MINIMUM WAGE POSITIONS? YOU DEMEAN TEACHERS AND THE POTENTIAL OF KIDS---FOR WHAT IS IT?
Posted by: BETTE | Sep 9, 2007 7:08:58 PM
I work at AA. While there may or may not be unfair treatment in the factory, the retail workers are truly the sweatshops workers. We do not get paid a living wage. We are forced to work with idiots because they're supposedly hot, & we only can hire hot people. All of the work piles on to a few because the hot-but-brain-damaged-by-alcohol-&-fluoridated-tap-water co-workers can't do anything but mill about talking of their pathetic exploits from the night before, or finding reasons to post meaningless comments on the intranet forums. It is the most superficial place I've ever been in. While it isn't strict, it isn't professional either. We get no paid time off, no benefits except for the health insurance we pay for, which isn't actually bad, & we have to do an inventory-like exercise every week called perfect fill, which is a complete pain in the ass, & keeps us at work sometimes into the wee hours of the morning. Then we have to be at work the next day, sometimes a few hours later. I really only work there because I just need to pay my bills while I find something better. I'd even take a pay cut to find a better environment, because the quality of this one is pretty poor.
Posted by: Miss Manners | Feb 27, 2009 1:32:11 PM