Have You Really Sunk So Low, American Apparel?


I'm largely a fan of American Apparel. Sure, their clothes cost about 30% more than comparable clothes from a non-trendy brand, but they're comfortable, they're simple, they come in a variety of colors, and they're hip and casual without forcing you to be embarrassingly ironic about your clothing.

I have managed to look the other way at the utter skeeviness of the company's founder and president, Dov Charney. According to various articles, he treats AA headquarters in LA as his personal harem and apparently puts on auto-erotic displays for female reporters who come to interview him. By all accounts, he has created a moderately successful, trendy clothing company and turned it into his own personal 70s porn fantasy world. So far I've managed to justify continuing to give them my business by telling myself that most companies are far worse. I'm sure a lot of sexual harrassment happens behind the doors at the upper echelons of other companies; the difference at American Apparel is that they keep the doors open. And they do a good job in terms of paying good wages and benefits, using sustainable materials and methods to produce their clothing, etc. They're a highly responsible company but for the open and flagrant sexism.

That sexism bleeds into the product lines. I've come to accept that they only sell men's clothing under protest. My theory is that essentially all of the clothing they sell starts out as part of a Dov Charney sex fantasy. As it happens, though, Charney's fantasies tend to involve women in 70s vintage men's clothing. Sometimes, therefore, American Apparel accidentally creates a garment that could be worn by men. These go into the Unisex line.

So, you know, there's a lot not to like about the company. But they tend to produce a very high-quality product, and it's generally quite tasteful, in contrast to a lot of the ironic t-shirt companies you find out there. But then sometimes Charney's weird fetishism creeps into the lines a bit too much and it becomes impossible to ignore. And when that happens, you get things like this: the Cotton Spandex Jersey Tank Thong.

For the love of Pete, why? It looks hideous, it serves no practical purpose that can't be served by sensible garments that are readily available, and it looks horribly uncomfortable. Is this a fashion style that really needed to be resurrected? Are hipsters dressed as extras from 80s exercise videos flooding the trendy night clubs of Los Angeles and New York? And, if they are, why must American Apparel inflict their nonsense on the rest of us?

This is enough. Have you no sense of decency, Dov Charney, at long last?


I want to preface this by saying that I would never wear this, on account of I find it odd and I don't wear thongs. That being said, I can see why someone would buy this. The cut of the top is cute, and it's not intended to just be worn with pants or a skirt, since it would be skin-tight and tucked into pants. The idea is that layering clothes is a popular look, so you would have another shirt of some sort on top of it. It might be handier than just having a tanktop underneath, since sometimes when I do that both shirts ride up and I can't bend forward more than 45 degrees without having to throw an arm across my lower back. And, who knows, maybe combining a shirt with underpants would save me lots of time.

"And, who knows, maybe combining a shirt with underpants would save me lots of time."

You've just discovered the secret to happiness and the elimination of butt cleavage.

hahaha sweet success! kelsey has long searched for the item that combines those two things :-)

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This page contains a single entry by Zach published on August 16, 2006 5:03 PM.

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