A lot of people have been waiting for a long time to see American Apparel founder Dov Charney take a fall. The company's suggestive advertisements have been accused of more crimes against feminism than pairs of boy-cut panties sold, and Charney has personally come under fire, mostly for sexual harassment-related transgressions, both formally charged and rumored. But if one measure of success is founding a company that gets big enough to fire you, Charney has succeeded. His ousting was announced late yesterday, "amid a continuing investigation," and whatever the degree to which his behavior was a factor in the decision, the company's financial under-performance was no doubt also a major consideration, as shares in the company have plummeted in the past half-decade. Interestingly, investors reacted to the news of his ouster with a 14 percent rise in pre-market trading this morning.
Despite the criticisms, I've always thought American Apparel has played an important role in spreading the idea of Made in USA clothing among shop-happy youth. AA's own factories have received criticism as well, but at least as voting citizens we have the theoretical ability to control their regulation instead of something located in a remote corner of a country most of us will never visit. It's one of the only gateways to the discussion of apparel-industry reform and domestic reclamation of manufacturing among the big-boxes. As to whether Charney's exit means the company's ads will take a different tack, I suppose that remains to be seen.
Incidentally, if you are a fan of AA's core conveniences (trendy basics in every color of the rainbow), local apparel company Reif posted a photo the other day from their forthcoming line of underpinnings, with the caption, "Coming soon for fall - your fave new bralette #reifbasik #aw14 #apexbralette #oneineverycolor"