It seems like just yesterday I was writing about the paradoxical brand known as American Apparel. Now I'm a Manager on Duty for them. Oh, the irony.
This post, however, isn't about the debt the brand faces or its controversial advertisements. This time, it's strictly about their former CEO, Dov Charney. When the board chairman, Allen Mayer, passed Charney his termination letter in June 2014, his life suddenly took a turn. His termination wasn't due to the alleged sexual harassment lawsuits he faced but for other unethical reasons such as giving packages to multiple employees to prevent potential suits and using the company's money for personal expenses (Source: Business Insider). Dov has been trying to win back American Apparel for awhile now, bidding $300 million to buy back the company. His reasons? "To save the company from bankruptcy" I guess he forgot he cost the company $7 million due to his offenses. Of course, about a week ago, his bid offer was rejected.
So, guess what his next move is? According to Fashionista, his next move is to start a new business - a U.S. manufacturing company specializing in men's and women's basics. How creative of you, Charney! In the article, Charney seemed optimistic about his new venture. He states, "...the things I possess can't be stolen by a predatory hedge fund...my ideas, values, drive, authenticity, integrity and passion." Great mindset, Charney! Only thing wrong with this is your "ideas" are basic. No pun intended.
Businesses such as Uniqlo, Gap and American Apparel already sell essential basics for men and women. Not to mention, American Apparel's competitive advantage is their factories are sweatshop-free and the company doesn't exploit low-income countries. So, your attempts to start a new business (matching the exact same platform as your runaway baby, American Apparel) is not the most lucrative business decision. This is your chance to start over and come up with a fresh idea. This is the time for you and your partner, Hagan Capital Group, to expand creative synergy and think of a better strategy that will differentiate your new business from your former company. Although, I'm not fond of you as an individual, I was excited to learn you have not allowed this major setback in your career takeover your drive and determination. But Charney, starting a company that is an exact replication of your former company doesn't sound authentic. It makes you seem rather vindictive and uninspired.
I may not know what it takes to start a new fashion manufacturing company but I do know a little something about originality and passion. Come on, Charney, don't be basic.
You can find my original post here: Paradoxical American Apparel
Thanks for reading.
- Amanda Moore-Karim