Confession: The Top 10 Reasons I Hate American Apparel

photo by acidcookie

Our contributor Abby Spector, who is majoring in Feminine/Gender/Sexuality Studies at Wesleyan University, has a confession to make:

Here are the top 10 reasons I love to hate (and hate to love) American Apparel:

  1. The newest line looks like something out of my grandmother’s closet.
  2. The models, sales people, and those who frequent the store do not smile. Ever.
  3. Are they selling nipples? That is the impression I get from their booby-slipping ads. And what about Woody Allen? They placed the iconic actor on a New York billboard without his permission. I didn’t know I could buy my very own Woody.
  4. Dear Trust Fund Yuppies, American Apparel is the Ralph Lauren of your generation. Deal with it.
  5. News Flash: You can get five V-Neck Tees in a bag from Hanes for the price of one from American Apparel.
  6. Their products may be American-made, but that doesn’t mean the company is ethical. AA has dubious hiring/firing practices involving photo shoots of potential and current employees (with many saying you can be rejected for not being attractive enough). AA has also been sued multiple times and accused of sexual harassment and cooking the books.
  7. Two words: Don Dov Charney.
  8. In New York, American Apparel is giving Starbucks a run for their money in terms of the number of branches.
  9. Dudes, you are corporate America. Stop thinking that you are better then every other chain store. It makes you look like a douche.
  10. Despite all these reasons, I still shop there, get their magazine and once asked about a job position when I saw a Help Wanted sign. (But I quickly left once I learned body piercings and tattoos were not permitted. The manager said they were going for a “preppier look”.)

Abby Spector


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15 Comments on "Confession: The Top 10 Reasons I Hate American Apparel"


Zyx
4 years 2 months ago

Don’t support them or you’re helping support Charney’s sexual harassment and worse. They’re now another chain shop like Starbucks. Charney hates unions. They’re trying to be classic prep now and if you really want to go that style, it’s better to go with the originals. J Crew, Sprerry Topsiders, classic Polo and Lacoste. The price you’ll pay for those vintage may be the same or slightly more than AA’s copies. It’s more fun looking for vintage clothes or going to places that aren’t staffed entirely by the perfect AA-approved hipster (and Charney did require store managers to send him group photos of their staff to have them fire those he deemed did not look cool or good looking enough, f*cking lame).

bosh
4 years 6 months ago

so….in response to the critique of abby recognizing the problems with american apparel and shopping there, i want to add some analysis to the self righteous comments posted above.

one the one hand, it is SUPER important to make sure your personal daily life practices such as shopping, eating, traveling etc give with your ethics. and I TOTALLY AGREE that if you are going to shop, you should be as INFORMED as possible about where you buy your clothing, food, etc. it’s important to think about your own health, worker rights of employees, animal rights, the environment, etc – pick your issue, most companies are hiding myriad violations.

on the other hand, it’s no one’s place to tell someone else to literally stop participating in shopping all together – that is a totally classist attitude implying the time and resources to spend 4 hours a day mending, refurbishing and swapping with your friends. for everyone so self-righteously telling abby not to shop at american apparel, it’s totally unreasonable to tell busy, hard working people not to shop at all, and a lot of them/us don’t have the resources to seek out worker-owned clothing especially because ONLY A FEW OF THOSE COMPANIES EXIST THE WORLD OVER.

social change, revolution, etc are NEVER going to be gained by fucking changing where you shop. it’s a start, but it’s so incredibly incomplete as a method of resistance or change that you can’t reasonably talk about it with so much self satisfaction. “BUYING OUT WAY OUT OF CAPITALISM” is a contradiction in terms.

turn your anger toward COMPANIES, toward CAPITALISM, toward inequality and injustice instead of harassing a potential ALLY like abby for being honest about liking fashion and the shopping habits she keeps. or maybe you should turn your critique inward and do some introspection, because you need to be brought up short about your politics if freaking CONSUMER ACTIVISM is what you’re promoting.

bosh
4 years 6 months ago

in response to the critique of abby recognizing the problems with american apparel and shopping there, i want to add some analysis to the self righteous comments posted above.

one the one hand, it is SUPER important to make sure your personal daily life practices such as shopping, eating, traveling etc give with your ethics. and I TOTALLY AGREE that if you are going to shop, you should be as INFORMED as possible about where you buy your clothing, food, etc. it’s important to think about your own health, worker rights of employees, animal rights, the environment, etc – pick your issue, most companies are hiding myriad violations.

on the other hand, it’s no one’s place to tell someone else to literally stop participating in shopping all together – that is a totally classist attitude implying the time and resources to spend 4 hours a day mending, refurbishing and swapping with your friends. for everyone so self-righteously telling abby not to shop at american apparel, it’s totally unreasonable to tell busy, hard working people not to shop at all, and a lot of them/us don’t have the resources to seek out worker-owned clothing especially because ONLY A FEW OF THOSE COMPANIES EXIST THE WORLD OVER.

social change, revolution, etc are NEVER going to be gained by fucking changing where you shop. it’s a start, but it’s so incredibly incomplete as a method of resistance or change that you can’t reasonably talk about it with so much self satisfaction. “BUYING OUT WAY OUT OF CAPITALISM” is a contradiction in terms.

turn your anger toward COMPANIES, toward CAPITALISM, toward inequality and injustice instead of harassing a potential ALLY like abby for being honest about liking fashion and the shopping habits she keeps. or maybe you should turn your critique inward and do some introspection, because you need to be brought up short about your politics if freaking CONSUMER ACTIVISM is what you’re promoting.

Renee
4 years 7 months ago

Allie, stfu bitch.
You’re just pissed because you support a totally shitty company and are embarrassed to do so.
shallow whore.

4 years 7 months ago

Seriously took the words right out of my mouth. But still… I have an overpriced v-neck from there that is just SO comfy..