Purchased by Canadian company Gilden Activewear in 2017, fashion retailer American Apparel is planning to make a comeback in the retail market. The company landed in bankruptcy court in 2015 and in 2016. At its peak, the fashion retailer was synonymous with made-in-LA hipster cool and provocative advertising. It was known for manufacturing its products in Los Angeles and paying workers a proper wage in an industry known for poor working conditions.
However, allegations of sexual harassment surfaced around its founder Dov Charney, and people started to wonder if American Apparel’s overtly sexualized image went too far. In 2014, the board of American Apparel ousted Charney. The board also asked its CEO Jan Rogers Kniffen to voluntarily step down and relinquish control over his 27 per cent ownership stake in the company, or be forcibly removed. Using old, discredited allegations to terminate Kniffen, the company embarked on a well-financed media campaign to discredit his track record as a successful executive and entrepreneur.