Why You Should Not Care If American Apparel Shuts Down
The Made-In-America brand, American Apparel, declared bankruptcy protection earlier this year. When I first heard this, I instantaneously became a part of the “Oh My God Where Will I Buy My Cute Lingerie and Tutu Socks” crisis because this company, known for its minimal-vintage-hipster feel, was in danger to close. However, I took a few steps back and asked myself… do I really care?
American Apparel declared bankruptcy and filed the process of debt for equity conversion. For those who are loyal Shark Tank fans like me, you will find these business terms familiar, because they owe $120 million dollars. Debt for equity is to swap their debts for a share of the company.
The first thought that came to mind when I read that was, “how is this possible that they owe so much when they sell $30 dollar basic pieces that I could easily cop at Walmart for four dollars?” This company has had a fall in sales over the course of the past year in addition to the already not-so-popular CEO, Dov Charney. In a Huffington Post article, I read completely bizarre things that this man has been accused of within the business. I’ll get to the style part of this article soon, but I just want to give you a gist of the problem with the CEO of American Apparel. Don Charney has been supposedly accused of the following:
- Roaming around the factory floors in his underwear and conducting a business meeting while wearing just one sock (I’ll let your imagination do the rest).
- Assaulting, throwing dirt, and using homophobic language to an AA store manager.
- Numerous accounts of sexual harassment.
- Masturbating in front of a reporter and employee.
- Having more than a thousand unauthorized workers in his factory. (Sources??!)
Now, back to American Apparel as a store. Sources say American Apparel's sales dropped due to millennials preferring to buy apps over jeans. While, a .99-cent app versus buying $98 dollar pair of jeans is a sweeter deal, this still isn’t a convincing explanation. It is obviously not attributed solely to that. The truth is, the clothes are too expensive for what they are worth. It is all in the hype.
I admit, I fell into AA’s spell and splurged in the SOHO AA store, but only with the cheapest items: socks and underwear (no regrets though). I also wasted fifty dollars on a floppy hat that falls off my head (that I completely regret buying for the record). That’s another thing, their sizes are a mess. You have to have a specific body-type and shape for this store because, at least with my AA dressing room chronicles, I tried on a pair of high waisted jeans and one size was too tight and the next size up was way too big. I almost fell into their voodoo of wasting money for $80 dollar mom jeans, which afterwards I found for $70 dollars less at the Brooklyn thrift store and they fit me like a dream. To further support my argument as to why we shouldn’t care if AA disappears from planet Earth, here are a few comparisons that will get you thinking:
1. Basic Sleeveless Dress: American Apparel $58 vs. ZARA $19.90
American Apparel: 0 Other store: 1
2. Printed Shorts: American Apparel $60 vs. Forever 21 $19.90
American Apparel: 0 Other Store: 2
3. Long Cardigan: American Apparel $110 vs. H&M $34.99
And we have a winner. I know it's hard not to think that American Apparel has a perfect minimalistic quality to it, but they absolutely do not price their products the same way. It’s also hard to deny that you really want everything in the store. I was in your shoes (sometimes still am), but it does not take away from the fact that the brand is still extremely overpriced for what it is. So, AA do all of us a favor and lower your prices or close down. Stop making us feel poor, thank you.