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Company: American Apparel Inc.

American Apparel designs, manufactures and sells branded fashion apparel. It offers T-shirts, denim, sweaters, jackets, and accessories.  The company differentiates itself from many others in the apparel industry partly by not using sub-contractors and offshore labor. Virtually all of the company’s product are designed and manufactured in its Los Angeles, California facilities.

In 2014, American Apparel employed more than 10,000 people and generated annual revenues of approximately $634 million.

Year Founded: 1998 Number of Locations: 251

Trade Names (# of locations)

American Apparel (251)

Early Years and Growth

In 1998, Dov Charney started American Apparel, initially producing just t-shirts. It is interesting to note that Charney is Canadian, but he attended Tufts University in Medford/Somerville, Massachusetts where he became very interested in American fashion and culture.

In 2000, American Apparel moved into a production facility in Los Angeles, California.

In 2005, American Apparel was ranked the number 308 company in Inc.’s list of fastest growing companies in America.

In 2006, American Apparel went public through the acquisition of Ram Venture Holdings Corp.

In 2010, American Apparel’s auditors, Deloitte, reported the company to the Securities Exchange Commission (SEC), saying the company withheld information and that the company’s 2009 financial information was not reliable. Deloitte resigned as American Apparel’s auditors and the SEC launched an investigation of the company.

In 2011, American Apparel cut a deal with an investor group led by Michael Serruya and Delavaco Capital to raise $14.9 million.

In 2012, American Apparel announced that the SEC had closed its investigation of the company and no enforcement action was recommended.

In 2013, American Apparel raised $206 million in the form of debt financing through a Canadian investor group.

In 2014, American Apparel fired the company’s founder and CEO Dov Charney amid a slew of allegations about misconduct on Charney’s part. Many of the allegations are similar to some of the issues Deloitte reported to the SEC in 2010. American Apparel hired an outside investigator to look into the issues.

In January, 2015 there were numerous reports and rumors that American Apparel has been behind on paying suppliers and is having difficulty raising money from virtually any source. The controversy surrounding the company’s former CEO Dov Charney are cited as a major reason nobody seems interested in investing in or lending to the company. Charney is rumored to be trying to engineer a takeover of the company he founded.

Also in January 2015, American Apparel instituted a variety of changes to its internal human resources policies to address concerns related to allegations of its former CEOs misconduct. The majority of the changes are focused on stronger sexual harassment prevention and providing guidance for employees behavior towards one another.


Headquarter City: Los Angeles, California

Targeted Consumer

American Apparel’s target consumers are 18 to 34 year old men and women.

Work Environment

Reviews on Glassdoor.com

The 319 reviews on Glassdoor.com show the company gets an overall 2.8 out of 5 stars and 43% of employees recommend the company to a friend. Of all the categories rated, work/life balance and career opportunities tied for the most stars, at 2.9 out of 5.

Approximately 29% of reviewers approve of the company's CEO.

According to reviews, the following are average salaries at the company for several jobs:

Store Manager-Hourly: $14.14/hour

Assistant Store Manager-Hourly: $12.46/hour

Sales Associate-Hourly: $9.69/hour

In addition to competitive pay, the company offers its employees a 401(k) plan.

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