Vanity, Drugs, and a Sex-Crazed Boss: Working at American Apparel

I’ve talked about American Apparel before. Those ads that look like porn with bad lighting? Those models who may or may not be underage but who are definitely bored and affected?Well, it gets better.

A contributor for Jezebel (one of the funniest gossip sites out there) recently wrote about her experience working at the enigma that is A. Apparel, proving that it’s not just their ads that are pretensions and strange.

I thought cocaine was kind of scandalous when I started working at American Apparel. And so I naturally found it kind of scandalous that a major coke dealer actually served as a kind of informal HR chief for many of the American Apparel stores in New York.” The Jezebel story begins, going on to explain about the monstrosity that is Dov Charney—the Canadian founder of A.A.

Stories that Charney “masturbated in front of a reporter, berated girls for not finding him hot enough “pussy” with which to staff his stores, [and] took certain female retail employees as glorified concubines whom he would house in special American Apparel apartments and whose shitty retail wages he would subsidize with special allowances” were all apparently true, as well as his famously annoying voice, which was “shrill and weird and babyish.”

A sex addict with a baby voice who’s also an asshole? Sounds like he could be in the running for one of the worst bosses in the history of retail. Or the world.

When there’s a disgusting idiot helming a company who says things like “It is imperative that the people who wear our clothes are really attractive, vain hipsters, and any priority they exhibit that runs counter to looking really awesome should be a warning sign that maybe they should not work here”, it’s not hard to see why A. Apparel is so ridiculous.

I mean, how can a place have good energy if “vain hipsters” who don’t care about anything except “looking awesome” run things? Sure, the chain is successful, but someday (and someday soon) short shorts for guys and gold bodysuits for girls are going to go out of style.

And nobody will care. Except the people who have closets full of them. They might cry.

Oh, and PS? If you’re ever going to take a journey inside A.A (say perhaps, for Halloween? Which is the only reason I’ve ever gotten close to the Mecca of attitude), make sure to wear earplugs. Unless you really dig booming electropop by artists you’re not cool enough to know.

Like the people surrounding it, the music at American Apparel leaves much to be desired.

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