Are You Really Shocked That American Apparel Doesn't Like You? - GangStarr Girl : GangStarr Girl

Are You Really Shocked That American Apparel Doesn’t Like You?

[ 11 ] June 15, 2010 |

StarrLeg

Look at this ad, then look at yourself, then look at this ad. You don’t look like the ad.

That’s a good thing, unless you actually like the heroine-chic-Lower-East-Side-crack-whore-circa-1980s look. If that’s the case, then be mad that American Apparel owner Dov Charney doesn’t like ugly people who wear bad shoes. People were up in arms recently because Gawker revealed shady information about the company’s hiring process based on intel they received from former managers. According to documents obtained, managers were given specific instructions on who to hire based on how they look. One manager was told not to hire trashy black girls and to make sure they had nice hair (ironically, nice hair to them was not permed or straightened). Another manager said this:

“American Apparel is full of it when they tell you that staff photos or “class photos” as they call them, are infrequent. When I was managing we had to send photos into our store consultant (a high school dropout) weekly… Not only did they police our clothes but our eyebrows, makeup, nails and hair color. They also openly mocked employees by posting photos of them online. Our store consultant also on several occasions told girls to lose weight or told them they were “too top heavy for crop tops”…They routinely denied applications based on looks or shoes.

It makes sense why the times I’ve been to American Apparel, the $8.00 an hour snobs who work there tended to seem like they had chips on their shoulders.  I never had any awful experiences that would make me complain but a lot of times, I was either not acknowledged at all or regarded with disinterest (which only bother’s me when I have a question or if I’m ready to purchase product). Strangers don’t hurt my feelings easily so I really didn’t care but at least now I know my observations were valid. And me bringing up how much they make isn’t me trying to say I’m better (because Lord knows I’m struggling) but the point I’m trying to make is, superficial and insecure people who get in certain positions of what they perceive as legitimate power feel better about themselves when they can scrutinize other people. This brings me to the American Apparel Owner, whom Gawker reported as having favorite “models” that he hires to over see the hiring process. This is him.

Can you imagine what he was probably like in high school? Yep. So it’s not surprising that he would grow up get rich and take all his insecurities, bully trauma and date rejection out on the world. I’d rather that than having another serial killer added to the list of psychos I already have to watch out for.  The bottom line is, if he didn’t own American Apparel, he’d probably own a white van, a hatchet, cables and some duck tape, and live in a house built on top of homemade graves filled with missing Jane Does.

So there, don’t be mad or surprised that American Apparel discriminates. It’s really not that deep. Plus, who wants to pay $40 for a cotton t-shirt anyway?

It’s not like I’ve never patronized American Apparel ever, but I always knew they weren’t checking for me, but I digress. Just know that if this “scandal” bothers you, you don’t have to support them.

Check out Gawker for full details and documents of their hiring process.

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Category: Misc, Pop Culture

About the Author ()

Starrene Rhett Rocque is a recovering journalist who often fantasizes about becoming a shotgun-toting B-movie heroine.
  • http://www.becoolent.com Jay Fingers

    Haha @ implying Dov Charney would own a kidnap van if he didn’t have AA’s success to live off of.

    It’s sad, American Apparel has a near monopoly on the wholesale supply of blank premium wearables to small and indie fashion labels. We all inadvertently support the company—you’d be hard-pressed to find a wardrobe that doesn’t have at least one piece made from an AA shirt or something.

    Charney’s been lambasted before regarding his company’s hiring practices, but I think this is the first time race has prominently been mentioned.

  • http://www.gangstarrgirl.com Gangstarr Girl

    Yeah, you’re right. 90% of the t-shirts I get at events were made by American Apparel. It sucks, but such is life. But again, this is what insecure people do to make themselves feel better so eff him and his staff.

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  • http://totherefromhere.wordpress.com Chanelle

    What is really interesting about this whole issue is that beyond the restrictions put on employees, they are encouraging natural hair on black women. More, the natural hair is considered classy. As a natural-haired black woman who has to fight with her own family because they view my hair in a very negative way, I’m inclined to applaud that.

    • http://www.gangstarrgirl.com Gangstarr Girl

      @Chanelle
      Yeah, the fact that their view of “nice hair” on a black girl is natural hair is the most ironic part of all of this.

  • http://justineh.8m.com Justine

    WOW! I shouldn’t be surprised though-I recently heard another popular apparel company behaved similarly; I think it was American Eagle but don’t quote me on that.

    Anyway, that’s why I try to support only those businesses I see using a diverse group of models in their ads. It might not help me avoid all of those places who practice such politics, but at least it gives me a clue on those who don’t.

  • http://www.gangstarrgirl.com Gangstarr Girl

    @Justine
    I wouldn’t be surprised if it was American Eagle. I attempted to work there right after college and my friend, who was trying to hook me up with the interview told me that on the day I come in to talk to a manager, to make sure my sense of style really stands out. When I got there to talk to the manager, he kept telling me he liked my look. I didn’t get the job but whatever lol. But based on that experience, I wouldn’t be surprised if it was them.

  • The Creative Conduit

    It sounds like AA has adopted the Six Flags Great Adventures hiring policy. And let Baby Phat try to get away with a shot like the one of that girl in the green top and lets see what people would say. I can’t believe that even made the cut.

  • http://blog.classyblacklady.com Tabby@ ClassyBlackLady.com

    Never been in American Apparel and that will definitely not change after this revelation. Thanks for the info

  • TuttiFrutti

    This is also an example of what happens when men are “in charge” of woman’s apparel. They tend to project their “adolescent fantasies” on what women should look like and wear. Thank you for making us aware of this situation…I had no idea! Then again, I’ve never set foot in an A.A. store, nor will I ever. It is not my demographic anyway, but I’m saying…

  • http://www.theloudestpenever.com LoudPen

    Yea Starr I agree, I wasn’t shocked when this story came out. People have been discriminating since the beginning of time and will continue to do so. And as whack as the owner looks he can have that $8.00 an hour and his ugly clothes.