American Apparel Just Keeps Getting Pornier (Plus: Are You Hot Enough to Peddle Neon Spandex and Cotton V-Necks?)

As devoted readers may be aware, Dov Charney and his hip-tastic empire, American Apparel, have irked a Bitch blogger or two over the years. From the company's racist Afrika campaign to Charney's infamous victim-blaming statement to the company's appropriation of a political movement for profit, it becomes increasingly difficult to expect anything positive--save for the generous use of lamé--or even inoffensive from American Apparel and its smarmy CEO. Nevertheless, AA still sometimes fails to meet our low, low expectations. Case in point:


For realz? Do I even need to comment on this? Via Women's Rights at

In other AA news, rumors abound that Dov Charney has been amping up the looks-based discrimination. According to an email from an anonymous manager,

He made store managers across the country take group photos of their employees so that he could personally judge people based on looks. He is tightening the AA 'aesthetic,' and anyone that he deems not good-looking enough to work there, is encouraged to be fired. This is blatant discrimination based on looks.

Dov personally judged each person in group photos that were sent in, and if you weren't to his liking, then boy... watch out. The comments that he made were raging from childish ones to insulting ones. Managers that don't comply with these new standards are afraid of losing their jobs. Employees who aren't up to Dov's "look" and whose work ethic is "just ok" are being targeted and scrutinized and the minute they make small mistakes, they are being fired. But it's only because Dov wants to weed out the "ugly people."

I guess we'll have to wait and see how this pans out before we can definitively assert the veracity of the anonymous email but based on Dov's past antics this behavior woudn't be all that surprising. 

by Malori Maloney
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11 Comments Have Been Posted

first post


Can anyone really be

Can anyone really be expected to wear that? That's more like cheap lingerie than anything else and to find that A.A. keeps coming up with things that this is outrageous. If you wear this, you might feel as cheap as it looks.

Maybe they aren't the most

Maybe they aren't the most perfect company out there, but at least they are one of the few who are sweatshop free.

that's actually debatable...

Check our Clamor's <a href="">AA Exposed</a> articles for more info on AA's working conditions and union-busting strategies.

And AA doesn't have a monopoly on sweatshop-free clothing by any means. They're just the most prominent retailer. There are several companies that don't use sweatshop labor: <a href="">No Sweat Apparel</a>, <a href="">Justice Clothing</a> (which is also union-made and a worker cooperative), and <a href="">Just Shirts</a>, to name a few.


do you know where i can get sweatshop free underpants?

that asked, the thing about AA is they sell tshirts but all their advertising is pretending to be high fashion. not that it's ok, but calvin klein and other designer clothes ads can get pretty damned porny and exploitative. i find that to be the most striking aspect of the whole deal.

and while i am totally -not- ok with union busting, i also know that 'union made' in the clothing industry doesn't -not- mean sweatshop free, unfortunately. (that is not a comment on justice clothing, i am talking about other manufacturers).

Women's Rights on

Hi, this collage of American Apparel images was collected and put together for a blog post about this very issue on the Women's Rights blog on
We're perfectly happy to share but common blog courtesy requires that if you take an image and write about the same thing on the same day, you should reference the earlier blog post and link to them. Otherwise, it's just plagiarism.

the difference

now THESE ads are way more gross than the hudson jeans ads. some chick with her legs spread...i'm uncomfortable just looking at it and kind of embarrassed for the girl. :/

Comments from Facebook

Mariel: Hunh, "work ethic" eh? It always seems at american apparel that it's the "good looking" staff who are standing around in little huddles dissing the "unattractive ones" and even their customers out loud! Seems neither like work nor ethic(s) to me!

Jade: Dov Charney sounds ever so charming.

Lori: Who would ever wear these "clothes"?

Rina: dov charney is gross.

asking who would wear the clothes seems beside the point, considering how much money aa makes every year. the answer is people who are into fashion, dress-ups, and style, and who can afford them fit into them.

Jennifer: This stuff always saddens me to hear, because as much as the ads are lame and most of the clothes don't fit me, there is some really great stuff there, I like paying for stuff that is giving someone else a fair wage and actually, the personnel at the stores in Portland have always been nothing but kind and helpful to me, though I generally have to ask if things come in XL. (Some do)

Of course that's as it should be, but I've been to plenty of stores where I have felt judged by the staff and AA isn't one of them. I've had worse luck trying to shop at Torrid, even having a salesperson directly question whether I "should" be shopping there. Having to prove that your butt is big enough to shop in someone's store is pretty lame too.

Of course I think this guy should be hung out to dry on any kind of looks-based discrimination. But, at the same time, that's hardly a unique standpoint in clothing sales. Getting hired at such a job will always require some sort of "look"

Valerie: Models and actors are hired for thier looks. Jockies are hired because they weigh under 120 lbs. Its basically the same thing.

Emily: That is awful!
A store employee is not the same as being a model!
That is ridiculous, and against the law!

Allison: I like the tees that have from them, but I can buy the same product elsewhere and not support this type of an oppressive buisness model. this child pornography ads they run disturb me. It is interesting to me that some of the progressives that oppose this type of a buisness model wholeheartedly endorse pornography.......

<i>Take note: Opinions expressed are those of their respective authors, not necessarily those of</i> Bitch. <i>Dig?</i>

There's a difference between

There's a difference between making a woman look "sexy" and making her a "sex object".
The main difference? Whether she has a face and personality or if she's just an orifice.
Showing a woman in underwear who looks straight-into-your-eyes confident is a LOT difference than showing a woman bent over, offering her ass to you, her face pressed against a wall.
<img src="">

Wait....if not for her

Wait....if not for her orifices what else is a woman good for? Oh yea she can make me a sammich.

Sounds good to me either

Sounds good to me either way...

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