Blog: Michelle RussellAmerican Apparel under fire over “sexual” marketing

Michelle Russell | 25 November 2015

It seems American Apparel doesn't want to learn its lesson. Now operating under new CEO Paula Schneider, you might be forgiven for thinking the US fashion retailer had turned a corner.

Alas, the company has come under fire again, and this time ex-CEO Dov Charney isn't involved. American Apparel is instead facing a backlash for suggesting employees wear a T-shirt emblazoned with the phrase "Ask Me To Take It All Off" for Black Friday.

The slogan references the retailer's sale for the epic shopping day, but employees have been none too impressed, with one claiming the item was “actively encouraging our patrons to sexually harass me and my colleagues, some of whom are as young as 15”.

Most would think the days of sex-related antics at the US retail group were over with the ousting of Charney. Aside from his misconduct, if you cast your mind back, you might remember some of the marketing that took place under his leadership, such as the female mannequins with full pubic hair, or the T-shirt featuring a menstruating vagina.

American Apparel said it would discontinue encouraging employees to wear the slogan, which it said was intended to be “a play on words to engage customers during our Black Friday sale”.

It's true the American Apparel brand's DNA has been a bit in flux lately, as it tries to distance itself from the behaviour of its founder and seeks ways to “stay creative and push the envelope”. But it seems this latest marketing move may just have missed the mark.

Sectors: Apparel, Retail

Companies: American Apparel

BLOG

A confusing mix of sustainable cotton options

There's an undeniable desire on the part of brands around the world to clean up their supply chains, and there's no lack of interest in using more sustainable cotton. But the confusing mix of standard...

BLOG

Have your say – Take part in just-style’s State of Sourcing survey

The global apparel industry and its supply chain is going through a period of unprecedented change. How do you and your colleagues see the outlook for 2018? And what strategies are you likely to be tu...

NEWS

Teijin revises CSR guidelines, targets forced labour

Polymer and textile specialist Teijin Limited has revised its corporate social responsibility (CSR) procurement guidelines in a move that specifies "more detailed efforts" regarding human rights and l...

BLOG

Under Armour's strategic deep dives

Amid signs of a slowdown in its North American business, US sportswear brand Under Armour has made a number of "strategic deep dives" into strategy, supply chain, product, marketing and sales as a pre...

NEWS

Sri Lanka opens first of 150 mini apparel factories

The first of 150 "mini" garment factories has opened in a Sri Lankan village originally set up for displaced people, as part of a US$1.8m national apparel initiative implemented by the Government....

BLOG

Esquel Group on a sustainability mission

Hong Kong-based textile and apparel giant Esquel Group has made it its mission to weave sustainability into its core values, and across a vertical supply chain that spans every step from cotton farmin...

just-style homepage



Forgot your password?