This years Olympic Games has marked the first time that many countries have collaborated with leading brands on designing their official uniforms. After the initial praise and excitement surrounding the various partnerships, the majority of them have been surrounded by controversy. First up was the criticism targeted at Stella McCartney for her colour choice for the TeamGB kit and of course we then had the controversy about Ralph Lauren manufacturing the US kit in China. It doesn't end there.
Last week American Apparel boss DovCharney told the Post that the retailer will design the official kit for Russia in the 2014 Olympics only to backtrack a few days later. Today Charney spoke to WWD to confirm that the initial reports were false saying that 'after reviewing his e-mail' with Russia, he realised that he was in talks to produce Russia-themed consumer merchandise rather than the team's official kit. 'I'm not as well educated on these Olympics matters as I should be,' he told the title. 'I'm in the schmatta business.'
American Apparel are known for their advertising campaigns and more often than not it's not for the right reasons. The LA-based company have resorted to showing public hair and nipples to get people talking but now for the first time their campaigns are actually doing something constructive.
Last week they unveiled these images promoting a line of 'Pride' tees made in partnership with the Gay and Lesbian Alliance Defamation (GLAAD). To front the campaign they booked ANTM alum Isis King, who you'll remember was the first transgender model to appear on the show.
Every couple of months there are new reports on American Apparel's financial woes but it looks like things might actually be looking up for the nearly bankrupt company. Yesterday WWD revealed that AA boss Dov Charney is currently working on an e-commerce project with eBay, which could help the failing company, as well as a planned shop-in-shop at Bloomingdales as a last attempt to save the business.
The new partnerships are all a part of their new business strategy aiming to expand their distribution outside their own stores, as Fashionista report. “There are more than 30,000 searches for American Apparel on eBay each month and right now those customers are not buying from us directly,” Charney told WWD. Unsurprisingly other brands are reported to be working with eBay on similar project.
In the news today, the sky is blue, and Dov Charney is being sued. In the latest of a string of legal battles facing the American Apparel CEO, three women who previously sued him for sexual harassment now have brought a suit for defamation, invation of privacy and impersonating them on the web. The accusers - Irene Morales, Alyssa Ferguson and Tesa Lubans-Dehaven - first filed a $260 million harassment suit in the Brooklyn Supreme Court, but a judge halted the case to determine if it had grounds to go further. (Meanwhile, American Apparel attorneys were arguing that the women were only trying to extort company money.)
The new suit, filed in the Los Angeles Supreme Court, alleges that American Apparel made fake racy blogs about the women. According to the filing, some blog posts included "nude or semi-nude pictures" of Ferguson and Morales and made them appear to have admitted "to an unlawful scheme of extortion." The women further accuse American Apparel of releasing their images to media outlets, up to and including the New York Times.
'People didn't believe in Apple - they thought it was a fringe computer company,' Charney added. 'But it ended up changing the way people listen to music, and changing what daily life feels like worldwide.'
He would like to recreate the lifestyle Hugh Hefner did at the Playboy mansion in the 1970s, he said. To illustrate the point, he grabbed a Time magazine from July 1973 and turned to an article about Mr. Hefner and Bob Guccione, the founder of Penthouse. There, the two publishing magnates were photographed working on their magazines and enjoying dinner around a table, surrounded by women, naked and clothed. He said he was worried about preserving the company’s distinct culture.
Despite American Apparel CEO Dov Charney's denial that his company could file for bankruptcy, insiders say that the company might, in fact, sell - and that if it does, Charney might not be included in the next stages. According to PE Hub: "Two of the sources said if the company is sold, it is unlikely that the buyer will permit Charney to remain with the organization."
Charney holds more than 60-percent control of the company and has continually tried to dispel rumours about his company's downfall. He said this week: "There’s no chance this industry has to worry about me, or American Apparel, leaving."
Like us, you might not think American Apparel has much to celebrate. Company founder Dov Charney is facing two sexual-harassment suits. The brand lost upwards of $86 million last year alone. And according to WWD, there's "a looming April 30 deadline that could cut off its ability to borrow from banks and cover daily operating costs, which could potentially trigger a Chapter 11 bankruptcy filing.”
Despite all that, American Apparel is launching denim. And if you ask Charney, "This is going to be a year of renewal for American Apparel...I am feeling so inspired."
Things are still looking dire for American Apparel. The troubled label has just admitted it might have to file for bankruptcy if sales don't improve or outside funding doesn't come through. For 2010, the brand lost a whopping $86.3 million. And that's not all. According to the Wall Street Journal, "The retailer known for its sexually provocative advertising also indicated that even if it does file for bankruptcy, it may be forced to liquidate if it can't put together a reorganization plan or find bankruptcy financing."
American Apparel stock, over the past year, has traded as low as 66 cents a share, with a high of $3.62. The company has nearly been delisted from the stock exchange, and it previously has bordered on bankruptcy before being rescued at the last minute by investors. And just last month, CEO Dov Charney was delivered two sexual-harassment suits, which are still pending. We're guessing company meetings there aren't so much fun these days.