American Apparel is a clothing company based out of downtown Los Angeles, California. The company’s claim to fame is sweatshop-free clothing and internalized production, where all stages of manufacturing happen in the same building.
Its employees are some of the highest paid in the industry and their employee benefits are extremely generous (they include paid time off, healthcare, company-subsidized lunches, bus passes, free ESL classes and on-site masseurs).
The company is also recognized for its fair labor practices and use of proper lighting, ventilation and the most up-to-date equipment. American Apparel is a youth-directed company, and rather than buy into seasonal trends, they offer a basic, but expansive year-round line, which is constantly introducing new styles and colors. Perhaps just as well known as the company’s tees and tanks are the antics of its provocative CEO Dov Charney.
The attention began with American Apparel’s sexually charged advertisements, which feature suggestive photos taken in an amateur-pornographic style, but soon after became more focused on Charney himself. He is known to have had numerous consensual sexual relationships with employees and having masturbated in front of a reporter during an extended interview for Jane magazine. He is also accused of conducting job interviews in his underwear and gifting employees with vibrators.