Ethical Clothing (formerly) Made By An Unethical Man
October 27, 2015 12:13 PM   Subscribe

 
I felt like the reporter needed more time on this story ... She didn't have the time or quotes to really pull the "cult" thread through, and she didn't have anything in there from current management on what they plan to do about the workers, not even a decline-to-comment, which would have been telling in itself. Some of the stuff she did get was good, but this felt filed before its time.
posted by Diablevert at 2:07 PM on October 27, 2015 [3 favorites]


Anyone who's ever looked at their marketing material will find this about as surprising as finding out that Hooter's restaurants have sexual harassment issues.

I used to work in the screenprinting industry and found their catalogs so sleazy that I didn't want to show them to customers. I had to notch their website out of the firewall's filtering rules because it was on the adult-oriented blacklist, and did, in fact, show topless women on it.
posted by randomkeystrike at 2:08 PM on October 27, 2015 [2 favorites]


Oddly, just the other day, Mancub needed something and Man mentioned that AA was on sale at retailer X, and I showed him this to explain why we weren't supporting AA.

I want to support American manufacturing. I'm willing to pay a premium price for said product. I'm not willing to support the degradation of women as the price, however.
posted by SecretAgentSockpuppet at 3:11 PM on October 27, 2015 [5 favorites]


Why is so much of this article about that douchebag sex offender? He was fired last year.

As for the hypersexualization used to sell clothing...what's new in fashion?
posted by hal_c_on at 3:39 PM on October 27, 2015


In the moral calculus I work with, running a factory in the USA under USA labor laws is enough better than sweatshop labor in the third world that I can overlook the CEO being a massive creep. I did not realize, however, the extent of weird sexualized management culture at this place.

If AA can replace this asshat with someone who 1) doesn't jack off at people and 2) can manage to make consistently sized clothes I think they could rebuild the company and do well.
posted by 3urypteris at 6:39 PM on October 27, 2015 [1 favorite]


As for the hypersexualization used to sell clothing...what's new in Fashion?

Well, AA used actual porn stars in their ads, so there's that for "new", I suppose.
posted by Thorzdad at 6:49 PM on October 27, 2015


I really wish any of my friends who worked there(and it's a lot of people, like more than ten) had accounts here. Their stories are INSANE. And i don't use that word, especially in all caps, lightly.

The entire company is ridiculous. They treat retail employees like garbage, and have tons of gross semi-official standards about policing employees appearance. They also have, as i remember, weird defacto policies of people working dumb unpaid after hours stuff like urban outfitters was recently dumped on for encouraging.

A friend of a friend modeled for them(in one of those somewhat offputting shoots like the example linked above) and had weird stories about that as well.

Yet another thing is, their quality has dropped a LOT in the past few years. Stitching often isn't even straight anymore, and consistency between say, two shirts of the same size has gotten really bad.

I have old stuff from them, from the 2007-ish neon pants hipster era, that still holds up. I'm wearing a shirt from then right now actually. I also have way newer stuff from them that has or is completely falling apart.

The only good thing they make anymore is their cotton and 50/25/25 tank tops.
posted by emptythought at 6:52 PM on October 27, 2015


> As for the hypersexualization used to sell clothing...what's new in fashion?

Something being normalized and common doesn't make it unobjectionable and gross and unworthy of "fuck that bullshit" attention. I am really, really tired of cynical expressions of "why do people care about something that is so common even if it's gross." It's not like sexual harassment and rape culture need more room and breathing space and excuses. Don't reserve your ire for only the worst possible expressions of them.
posted by rtha at 6:58 PM on October 27, 2015 [17 favorites]


I'm a very faithful American Apparel shopper out of necessity. I'm a very small guy, and I've never found another brand that sells nice, non-childrens' clothes that fit me as well as AA's XS shirts and XXS button-downs/jackets. If anyone has any tips for other places to check out (even online) then I'd love to know.
posted by One Second Before Awakening at 7:13 PM on October 27, 2015


I think the first time I heard of AA might have been in a New Yorker article describing Charney’s trips to a local strip club during the day to test shirt fits. Appalling, but after a decade of Hanes Beefy T’s I really appreciated a shirt brand that tried to look better than a paper bag. Are Bella + Canvas okay? They’re the only other t-shirt brand I’ve worn that approaches AA’s material and fit.
posted by migurski at 9:23 PM on October 27, 2015


"Low quality goods sold to gullible and fickle fashion victims."
posted by clvrmnky at 7:17 AM on October 28, 2015


As for the hypersexualization used to sell clothing...what's new in Fashion?

Well, AA used actual porn stars in their ads, so there's that for "new", I suppose.


In the decorated apparel industry, which is admittedly a bit more conservative than the retail fashion industry but which is still a long way from being Amish (lots and lots of women in tight tees in the catalogs across all lines, not a lot of models in booths but def. photography showing skin, tights, undergarments, etc.) -- AA squicked a lot of people right out.

And a catalog that you're going to be showing to a nightclub owner one minute and a vacation bible school director the next doesn't usually have women wearing see-throw clothing in it...
posted by randomkeystrike at 9:45 AM on October 28, 2015


this makes me feel bad for picking AA style when ordering Woot shirts, but dammit the cheaper brand just doesn't feel as good.
posted by numaner at 1:13 PM on October 28, 2015


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