Located in Downtown LA, Sweatshop Free, with Vertically Integrated Manufacturing, campaigning to Legalize LA – American Apparel gets noticed. Which is exactly what Dov Charney set out to do with the first series of AA advertising featuring women in various states of undress, shot mostly by him. The imagery was raw, the picture quality overblown and gritty – cheap thrills, perfectly in step with the AA product philosophy.
While an entire blog, not just a post, could be devoted just to the extent and nature of Dov’s participation in that process, his role in the creation of American Apparel is clear and incontestable, and can be summed up in a few words. We believe that the early success of any company is driven by its founder. Not an appointed governor, but the person with the original idea, the vision, the passion and the ability to do whatever it takes to create a successful venture. And to make this enterprise successful without resorting to the usual suspects – outsourcing, lowering quality, extravagant pricing, outrageous claims, is even more noteworthy. The American Apparel message is clear – well designed, sometimes funky, affordable clothing made locally in a conscientious way : what could be better?
Much has been written elsewhere about the company, the colorful personality of its founder, the products [1, 2]. The rest of this post is devoted to showcasing AA imagery, as seen on the building, within its factory store in LA, and its advertising [AA collection of models / campaign here – unfortunately, much of this looks a bit polished, unlike the earliest efforts].
American Apparel represents just the kind of effort we support, and is the first in our series of profiles on companies small and large – focussed, enthusiastic about what they do, innovative.