American Apparel is back with a global online relaunch and a new, inclusive image and a product range that is focused on “body positivity”.
Under new Canadian owners Gildan, which won the race to acquire the assets of the brand early last year after it collapsed into Chapter 11 bankruptcy, American Apparel retains its sustainable and “sweatshop free” stance and will continue to use un-retouched models in “natural, honest” settings.
However its “Back To Basics” launch campaign, which was cast via the brand’s social media accounts, uses models who are all over 21 while the product has been made available in a wider and more diverse range of sizes and fits. Under its controversial founder Dov Charney, the American Apparel brand of old was heavily criticised for using young models in suggestive poses.
“We have deep love for our global customers, who really love and get the brand’s sense of humor and irreverent nature,” said Sabina Weber, Director, Marketing at American Apparel. “They also know the quality and the timeless, effortless styles that we offer and they miss having those pieces in their closets.”
Global customers (the brand was relaunched online in the US last summer) can now access all the products for which the brand had become known including t-shirts in an array of colours, disco pants, high-waist jeans, bodysuits, metallic leggings, unisex hoodies and fisherman pullovers.
American Apparel was founded in 1989 in LA by Dov Charney. Charney went against the grain of the trend at the time to source clothing from low-cost countries in favour of manufacturing in the USA. His “sweatshop free” stance played well with the consumer initially but after the economic downturn in 2008 it struggled due to its higher price points and Charney himself was the subject of sexual misconduct allegations which he has denied.
It entered Chapter 11 for the second time in a year in November 2017 and Gildan lodged its bid to buy it on the same day. It was rumoured to have had to beat off interest from companies such as Amazon, Forever 21 and Authentic Brands LLC to land the brand.
Gildan‘s brand portfolio includes its own label Gildan, Anvil, Goldtoe, Secret, Silks, Kushy Foot, Therapy Plus and Peds. Its printwear division, of which American Apparel now forms part, includes Gildan, Anvil, Comfort Colors, Alstyle and New Balance (which it produces under license).
The new global American Apparel website can be accessed at www.global.americanapparel.com.