Alexandra American Apparel

claudine ko

AA2Extended Enjoy
Jane, October 2005

When Jane's racy profile of American Apparel CEO Dov Charney ran a year ago, our reporter wasn't sure she desired the experience to get rid of. Therefore today she accumulates in which it left-off.

The first thing we notice once I pull into American Apparel's downtown L.A. head office is i can not find any parking. Eighteen months ago, United states Apparel had 1, 500 workers and merely five recently exposed shops. The "sweatshop-free" business has expanded to about 5, 000 workers and by next February, it'll operate 100 stores worldwide. Upstairs, I wander into a bright industrial-sized space which is cluttered with brand new advertising printouts, Macs and youthful, Adidas wearing staff members. Alexandra Spunt, Dov Charney's content director, is sitting out on a fire escape smoking a cigarette.

Whenever Alex is ready, she asks whether it's fine to videotape our interview – she's paranoid about Dov's legal troubles. After my initial profile on Dov, the business obtained plenty of media attention. And last May, three of their previous staff members filed legal actions saying these people were put through "egregious" sexual responses and an "intolerable working environment." Subsequently, everyone else through the ny days and Business Week to random bloggers have dogpiled on unfolding story, fixating on prurient details. I tell Alex to go forward and record.

"we are not settling, we're going to battle [the legal actions], " Alex states. She introduces a mid-'90s Spin mag intimate harrassment match which was brought against its top employer, Bob Guccione Jr., by a former feminine worker. It resulted in various other feminine staffers being wear the stand. "today I could be put in a situation in which i must show i did not get to my place by sleeping utilizing the employer, " Alex states. Should she have encouraged Dov never to be so candid? "he is so manic and crazy, but it's real, " she claims. "think it’s great or hate it, I think it really is really worth the cost of admission."

Yesenia Sandoval, a 23-year-old seamstress whom I spoke to last year, is brought in to the space. She actually is combined with both a publicist and human resources manager Kristina Moreno to help with interpretation. Yesenia tells me she actually is neither read nor heard of my article. She claims she's nonetheless happy with her task therefore the cash she's creating, but when I ask the girl about improvements within the working problems, she hesitates. Kristina says, "It's ok, tell the truth, " after that asks me to switch my recorder off – it is makingYesenia uncomfortable. Forget about their camcorder. After Yesenia extends back to operate, we say I'm amazed she actually is never ever heard about the article.

"It's about success. It's about earning money, " Kristina states.

"Gossip and sex tales – which is an extra, " Alex pipelines in. "Don't be these types of a white girl."

It requires Dov two weeks to accept an interview. We have actually kept contact; often so he is able to give me personally a heads-up that a reporter will probably contact myself about the original story. I am greeted during the gate of their home in nearby Echo Park by a lovely brown-haired woman called Sophia.

"she is not a good shield dog, " says Dov, today 36, letting the half-pit bull, half-Lab into his two-bedroom abode.

Dov appears worn. He's cultivated his trademark muttonchops and handlebar mustache into the full beard, helping to make his look akin to man-in-hiding as compared to Eisenhower chic he as soon as had going. "Time for the following thing, " he explains. We spend first couple of hours talking off-the-record. Sunlight channels through window, casting shadows across their face. The conversation is tight and unpredictable and, from time to time, he pauses, breathing profoundly. I worry he is going to break-down.

Finally, Dov, who had been a 2004 Ernst and younger Entrepreneur of the Year, is preparing to talk. "I didn't desire to be written about similar to this - masturbating, " he says. "I became within area for 2 days following the article arrived on the scene. There were days where i have done just rationalize it so men and women aren't getting scared of me personally. They truly are perhaps not seeing me personally as human being, they truly are witnessing myself as a demon." Dov states he is lost a couple of business opportunities" – like becoming denied by a key landlord – and adds that his photo had been papered on Sunset Boulevard with all the phrase OBEY YOUR MASTURBATOR.

"society sees my communication with you as a lewd act, " he claims.
"It really is no different than homophobia: 'He's gayyy!' 'He masturbated!!' The word 'masturbation' is really ugly. You might think we pull it in order to shock a female? I'm perhaps not some Terry Richardson man who is truth be told there for shock value. I'm a sensitive individual, and had I the impression you'ren't having a good time, it would've concluded straight away. We took you extremely really as a reporter. But i believe the outlines between personal and professional got blurry. And that's it."

What do you believe? In a Jane on line poll, some stated Dov's behavior – and business's provocative marketing – has switched all of them down once and for all. ("we-all but got rid of this brand of chauvinism, plus it ended up being perseverance. Witnessing it come-back, it is not 'retro, ' perhaps not in a cool method anyway.") However as numerous are becoming new customers ("If girls choose make out with regards to manager, after that that is their choice in order to make.") And most readers – 41 % – stated that as long as you're a little creeped aside, you continue to go shopping at AA stores. "I guess it is kinda like purchasing a Volkswagen, " states Taylor Daynes, 19. "You hate the creator of sorts, but try to...

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