American Apparel Stores Will Close But, The Brand is Not Going Anywhere

Gildan Activewear announced that they won the auction to purchase the American Apparel brand for $88 million but, will reportedly close over 100 stores.

Following the American Apparel Brand bankruptcy, Gildan Activewear, a Montreal company, has acquired the American Apparel brand and the deal is set to close next month. According to multiple outlets including Reuters, several companies including Amazon and Forever 21 expressed interest in purchasing the clothing company. But, before the deal is official, the winning Gildan bid will go before a bankruptcy judge this week.

“We are excited to be moving forward with this acquisition,” Glenn Chamandy, the President and CEO of Gildan explained in a statement. “The American Apparel® brand will be a strong complementary addition to our growing brand portfolio. We see strong potential to grow American Apparel sales by leveraging our extensive printwear distribution networks in North America and internationally to drive further market share penetration in the fashion basics segment of these markets.”

What is American Apparel?

Founded in 1989 by Dov Charney, the company was part clothing manufacturer and part fashion designer company based out of Los Angeles, California. In 2007, the company was worth $1 billion but, several years later the company was struggling to make ends meet. In fact by 2015 the company was unable make a profit in over six years. Then in 2015 American Apparel filed for chapter 11 bankruptcy and by 2017, Gildan acquired the company for $88 million.

American Apparel
MANCHESTER, UK – APRIL 23: American Apparel fashion store on April 23, 2013 in Manchester, UK. American Apparel was founded in 1989 and has 273 store locations as of 2013. (Tupungato / Shutterstock, Inc.)

American Apparel has been frequently involved in pop culture. From Kanye West’s 2010 album, where the rapper calls the company out by name in the song “Gorgeous” to the 2014 song by 5 Seconds of Summer where the band says “You look so perfect standing there in my American Apparel underwear” in the hit single “She Looks So Perfect”.

American Apparel Controversy

But, American Apparel did run into several bouts of controversy. In 2009, the former CEO revealed in an interview with Conde Nast Portfolio that ultimately, sex sells.

“Fashion is about sexuality,” Charvney explained. “It’s hard to be fashionable and sanitize it and take the sexuality out of it. It’s tasteful. It’s utility — it’s not Frederick’s of Hollywood. It has to make you feel attractive. Sex makes you feel beautiful or handsome.”

In addition, in the middle of an interview with the now defunct Jane magazine, Charney masterbated in front of Claudine Ko, the author of the story.

“Masturbation in front of women is underrated. It’s much easier on the woman,” Charney explained. “She gets to watch; it’s a sensual experience that doesn’t involve a man violating a woman, yet once the man has his release, it’s over and you can talk to the guy.”