I already kinda despised American Apparel for hocking their badly designed “Legalize GAY” briefs for $18 a pop, but now it looks like there’s something else to hold against them — ex-employees accuse them of hiring and promoting employees entirely on looks. And while that explains the coke whore in zebra print hanging out at the cash register, I wanted to see how many average young freaks their dress code disqualifies. I found several candidates from Look at This Fucking Hipster and most of them would never pass AA’s fashion muster, even if they are their best customers.
Just a note: American Apparel’s chief Dov Charney recently issued a statement calling Gawker‘s coverage of American Apparel’s hiring and retention policies “erroneous.” Charney added that his company “legitimately reviews current photographs of job applications and employees to consider their sense of style and the way in which they present themselves and that this “is a standard practice among fashion-forward retailers.”
This “standard practice” reminded me of Abercrombie and Fitch. They used to hire chiseled white folks to represent the brand’s look by working the front of the store. Meanwhile A&F relegated the less seemly people of color into low-visibility, back-of-the-store jobs. That “standard practice” ended up costing A&F a $40 million out of court class action settlement.
Charney included his personal phone number in his statement. So I called him. His voicemail wasn’t set up, but he called me right back.
“I love Gawker,” he tells me, “but I think some people forget that it’s more for entertainment than it is news.” He contends the emails were from disgruntled employees and that some might have been faked. He also said that any company has a right to photograph its salespeople “everyday if they like” and that his hiring decisions are based more on a person’s sense of style rather than their physical attractiveness. “Myself and my company have always operated with transparency and I think people are taking advantage of that. Walk into any of our stores and you’ll get a sense of our commitment to diversity.”
Thanks Charney! But while you may want your salespeople to be walking advertisements for your clothes, considering how much gold lamé your average print model has crammed between her butt cheeks, perhaps you should reconsider. Either way, I’m still gonna mock your company by writing this article. Old customers can be so cruel, no?