American Apparel Has A Uniform Now, And It’s Super Controversial
American Apparel is used to courting controversy. In fact, you can even say that’s the very concept their business was built on. Thanks to ousted-CEO (and known perv) Dov Charney, when you think of American Apparel it’s impossible not to think of scantily clad girls in unprofessional-looking photographs. Now once again the company finds itself in trouble over something they want women to wear, only this time the women in question are the company’s employees.
In an article for The Mary Sue, American Apparel allegedly encouraged all of its sales associates to wear t-shirts with the words, “Ask Me to Take It All Off” in honor of the Capitalist Holiday better known as Black Friday. For a more tasteful option, the employees were also allowed to wear a button with the same slogan.
Some employees didn’t want to wear either.
“I understand that American Apparel, the corporation, doesn’t see me as a real person and aims to commodify my sexuality in order to sell their product,” the source told The Mary Sue. “I still work for them because in the past, I have always had discretion about how I choose to present myself at work (so long as I wear AA head to toe).”
“Now they are actively encouraging our patrons to sexually harass me and my colleagues, some of whom as as young as 15,” the source continued. “A lot of our retain workforce is made up of high-school aged girls. There’s no question in my mind that anyone wearing the shirt will face inappropriate comments from customers.”
Obviously, American Apparel will no longer be encouraging its employees to wear said t-shirt, issuing an apology over what they thought was a harmless “play on words” instead. “We understand that this offended an individual employee who spoke up about his/her concerns. American Apparel is a company that values free speech, and most importantly, creating an environment where employees feel valued, protected, and safe. As such, we have decided to discontinue this slogan, and will seek other ways to stay creative and push the envelope, which is part of our brand DNA.”
Better luck next year, American Apparel. I think we can all agree that 2015 just hasn’t been your year.