Dov Charney launches ‘Los Angeles Apparel’ with striking similarities to former brand
A downward spiral into bankruptcy has not stopped American Apparel founder, Dov Charney, who is hoping to build his latest venture into fashion retailing, ‘Los Angeles Apparel,’ into a billion-dollar business. But the brand bears similarities beyond coincidence to Charney’s former enterprise.
California-based American Apparel found itself at the top of a slippery slope in 2014 when Charney was sued for sexual harassment of his models and employees. With Charney removed from his role amidst claims of mismanagement, in January 2017 the brand was bought in bankruptcy proceedings by Canadian group Gildan for $88 million.
Los Angeles Apparel launched late last year as a wholesale business as American Apparel waded through bankruptcy. And while Charney said that “the spirit of’ American Apparel is dead, Los Angeles Apparel suggests otherwise.
The assortment of basics offered by the brand are “equivalent to the styles Charney has offered in the past, from a specification, color and textile perspective,” the website confirms. “If you need [a product] that was produced in the past by American Apparel, we are here to help.”
Some wholesale partners have switched their orders from American Apparel to Los Angeles Apparel, Bloomberg reports. Charney even bought up supplies and assets during American Apparel’s bankruptcy sale, from fabric and equipment down to light bulbs in the old warehouse.
In addition to the same products, Los Angeles Apparel’s marketing and operations appear to reference in no small part those of American Apparel, and has retained its former American Apparel production factory. The branding for Los Angeles Apparel is similarly minimalist. While the company has yet to launch an official ad campaign, the models share the all-American retailer’s natural and youthful aesthetic.
The workforce also appear to have been transferred, as due to the bankruptcy, Charney has been able to hire former employees who were laid off from their roles with American Apparel. The website notes that most of Los Angeles Apparel’s 350 workers “have worked with Charney for over a decade.”
Los Angeles Apparel notes by next year it plans to double its capacity and grow its workforce from 350 to 1,000.
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