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American Apparel Goes Under

Famous for its unconventional CEO Dov Charney and its provocative advertisement campaigns, sweatshop-free brand American Apparel has been sold to Canadian t-shirt manufacturers Gildan. The LA Factory HQ, and US stores will be shut by April of this year and the UK online store has already gone, along with their retail stores here. Only the Camden High Street branch remains.

Founder Dov Charney had been selling t-shirts since the 80s, and set up American Apparel in 1997, with a socially-progressive campaign and employing a mostly Latino workforce of 3400. Rising with the popularity of their colourful t-shirts and hoodies in the noughties, recent years had seen a fall-off in sales as fast fashion – and lower prices associated with sweatshop labour – became the norm.

Charney is unimpressed with the demise of the brand he founded: ‘This is not a brand that should have gone out of business. This business went out of business because of Wall Street malfeasance.’ It will be interesting to see developments in the company’s fortunes, post-inauguration of Donald Trump.