American Apparel Will Live On After Bankruptcy

Hurrah! American Apparel lives!

The clothing line filed for bankruptcy in October 2015 after slumping sales, years of losses, an ass of a CEO in Dov Charney (who was shown the door in 2014), reports that employees were harassed by the company, and resulting crushing debt. I know, I know, you’re probably thinking, “Why hurrah, then?” I’ll get there in a sec.

U.S. Bankruptcy Judge Brendan Shannon decided in favor of a reorganization for American Apparel that will transfer the brand into the hands of its debtors, relieving $200 million. Charney attempted to get back into the company by organizing his own investors, but Shannon dismissed the offer, saying that it was “not a meaningful alternative.” So American Apparel will survive–without Charney, which is one reason to celebrate.

Another is that American Apparel is the only notable, accessible unisex clothing line that exists right now. My argument in favor of the brand has always been that it’s really high-quality clothing that’s made in the U.S. and is good for people who in one way or another are gender non-conforming. If I could fully convert my closet to American Apparel, I would. I’m working on it, in fact. I wore American Apparel leather hot pants and an American Apparel black denim lamé bustier to my wedding. Judged on the merits of its clothing, American Apparel is honestly one of the best places you could possibly shop. The only thing that isn’t awesome about American Apparel’s clothes is that the sizing runs small and there are very few XL options. Fingers crossed, that will change.

But judged on the merits of its leadership and culture, it has historically been pretty awful, no doubt. Hopefully with new ownership will come new attitudes toward their marketing and their employees.


[Business of Fashion]
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