It’s been a rocky few years for mass produced clothing manufacturer, retailer, and distributor, American Apparel. Innovator and company founder Dov Charney has been a problematic skipper, to say the least. Following a series of sexual harassment lawsuits by former female employees, last month Charney was suspended “for cause.” Business Week lists the board’s claims of Charney’s offences: “sexually harassing employees,” paying some of them off with “significant” “severance packages,” and “refusing to participate in sexual harassment training.”
To top it off, the company has lost $270 million since 2010.
Finally some sense has been adopted: just a month after booting the notorious Charney, American Apparel decided to appoint four new directors, and for the first time, one of them is a woman. It was announced yesterday that Colleen Brown, previously a CEO of Fisher Communications Inc. (which, after she led the sale for $340 million, last year became Sinclair Broadcast Group Inc.), has joined the boys’ club.
Perhaps now this new gust of perspective will carry with it the means to set American Apparel back on course, restore its PR composure, and embrace a little integrity.