In an effort to remain unbiased about this charming suave sir of fashion frocks, I will be so kind as to mute my joyful background music of Klaus Nomi’s “Ding Dong! the Witch is Dead” to provide you with the breaking news: Dov Charney is out of American Apparel, ousted by his board. According to the LA Times, Allan Mayer and David Danziger were appointed by the board as co-chairmen. Says Allan Mayer in the official press release:
“We take no joy in this, but the Board felt it was the right thing to do,” Allan Mayer said in the statement. “Dov Charney created American Apparel, but the Company has grown much larger than any one individual and we are confident that its greatest days are still ahead.”
When reached by phone by a Times reporter Charney hung up.
This may come to a surprise for many, but those who have been morbidly following the fiscal health of the California-based brand would not be so surprised. Dov Charney was bad for business, and the sexist campaigns that are part of American Apparel’s brand image being so entwined with the directorial gaze of Charney himself did not help matters. While alleged sexual harassments were most of American Apparel’s headlines for the past few years, they’ve also:
- Been forced to sell $30.5 Million in Shares (Bloomberg)
- Declined 52 percent in market value, reaching its lowest closing price since Dec 14, 2011 (Bloomberg)
- Missed their SEC Filing Deadline
- Is in danger of being delisted by the New York Stock Exchange as a result
- Were noted by Brand Keys as one of the least engaged brands among consumers in a survey, right next to Kmart and Quiznos (WWD)
- Have endured a $270 million dollar net loss since 2010 (Bloomberg)
At face value, these are all terrible moments for any brand. And yet, American Apparel has still maintained some hold over consumers (or at the very least, the conversations amongst consumers). Despite all the shoddy PR disasters and shady dealings, and even with net losses, American Apparel sales were increasing year after year. Considering how small the company is in comparison to others — Lululemon for example, which runs $1 billion sales a year, or Abercrombie, at $4 billion — it has managed to stay paddling as each tide of mismanagement shook the company. But it seems that the straw has finally broken the camel’s back. It only took seven years.
Charney’s luck and hold seems to have finally loosened. Our question now is obvious: what’s next? Will someone tasteless still continue with the questionable brand ads that Charney became so known for? Will American Apparel try to “button up” to to speak, and revamp itself into a cheaper, dirtier Acne? What took so long? We might never get an answer to that last one, but for the others? We’ll have to wait and see. Fingers….crossed?
Photo via ABC News
Tags: american apparel