Hipsters everywhere may soon have to find a new place to shop for over-priced scrunchies and spandex body suits.
That’s right. American Apparel, the store responsible for leading us to slight bankruptcy before we grew up and realized it was a hack, may soon be going bankrupt itself.
American Apparel announced in August through a release on Business Wire that the company has depreciated so much in the past few years, it’s not even sure it’ll be open by the end of the year.
Now, I can’t say for sure that the company’s recent misfortunes are a result of the public’s response to former CEO Dov Charney’s scandalous and absurdly creepy sexual misconduct — I can only hope so.
The company’s decreasing sales, however, do coincide with Charney’s latest scandal. Following his termination from the company for alleged sexual misconduct, Charney sued American Apparel. The company responded by handing over a slew of sexually explicit texts and emails between Charney and former employees, which were made public in June.
According to the Business Wire release, since then, net sales for the second quarter of 2015 have decreased 17.2 percent compared with the same time last year.
Maybe American Apparel is just stuck on an inevitable downward spiral. Maybe the hipsters of the world discovered that they can buy “vintage” jelly sandals at the flea market for $10 instead of $60.
Or maybe, consumers finally couldn’t turn a blind eye to the fact American Apparel’s blunt and unapologetically sleazy marketing tactics aren’t “cool,” but instead a direct reflection of Charney’s sincere lack of respect toward women.
The released “sexts” are far too explicit for me to print, but if you once were or still are an American Apparel shopper, I urge you to look them up and ask yourself if you’re truly surprised.
American Apparel has been running ads of nearly naked girls with blank stares and accompanying headers to the likes of “Pantytime” for decades, and somehow they managed to pass it off as cool — it’s not risqué, it’s tasteless. But more importantly, that type of marketing sends a powerful message.
There’s a difference between women wanting and being entitled to embrace their sexuality versus a company openly objectifying women to boost sales by selling sex. To be honest, that’s not at all uncommon in our society, but American Apparel’s years of glory were a sad, glitter-decorated reminder that a company could be openly led by a chauvinist pig unbeknownst to consumers.
While I can’t say for certain if American Apparel is going out of business, it’s important to realize that as consumers, every time we choose to spend our money we are casting a vote for the type of society we want to support.
Daniela Marin is the Entertainment Editor for the Central Florida Future.