Dov Charney Comments on American Apparel Woes
This week in Bad News for American Apparel: An employee at AA headquarters was found dead in a bathroom on August 31. It's not as if 44-year-old data analyst Danarichie Lyndon Sindo was murdered by AA corporate minions, or something (the LAPD told Gawker that Sindo was ill, though the exact cause of death is still unknown). But along with the company's recent financial woes, this certainly isn't good publicity.
We asked Charney about the tragedy, which he doesn't see as an AA-related issue. "It's not a death that relates to the company. I can't believe it's on the Internet. It's an example of the madness inherent in the blogosphere. It's really sad."
What does he make of this new setback in light of the recent flurry of negative AA press?
When anything's popular, people are negative. When something's really popular people like to throw bottles at it. It's human nature. We've sold more garments this year than we've ever sold before. Retail is down, but everybody's down. People are exploiting it to make some kind of tabloid point.
Charney wouldn't comment on the record on, you know, that whole your-company's-about-to-go-under thing. He sees it as a smaller issue compared with the "real story," which is:
This is a great company that's really trying hard to make clothing and take advantage of creativity and marketing and design and advance its business without relying on cheap labor. The young adults out there are taking cheap shots at us. Would it be better if I was paying workers 40 cents an hour in Vietnam?
Echoing his previous statements, Charney called the media's recent coverage a "false crusade," and added, "why would anybody want to make a mockery of this company?"
Why would they? Possibilities:
- "I tried to design a company that would make my mother proud." Alternatively, "Exploitation doesn't take place when you're photographing people."
- The accountants resigned.
- Possible bankruptcy.
- Possible delisting from the NYSE.
Just some ideas. Anyway, we asked Charney how long he plans to remain CEO. "I plan to run American Apparel for the rest of my life," he said. So, there's that?
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