In response to the rumors that Dov Charney lays off employees who aren't hot enough, American Apparel's creative director, Marsha Brady, sent us this statement about their hiring process, which she oversees:
We do screen, but not for beauty. What we look for is personal style. We carry year round basics that are easy to understand and pretty much sell themselves as basics. But to really showcase the fashionability of our products, we have to rely on the way our in-store employees style themselves with our clothes. The line consists of a tremendous number of colors that are more like art supplies than fashion, so when we're hiring, one of the things we look for is an ability to take our products, make them exciting, and show how cool they can look, which doesn't have much to do with just being pretty. We see applicants who don't have quite what we're looking for in retail but are recommended for modeling all the time. Every new hire contributes to our brand perception and it's very important to the success of the company to take it seriously. Not to say that we have the perfect retail workforce, but it's something we're giving priority to.
To think you could walk into an open call one day with simple aspirations to man a cash register or open boxes in the stockroom, and emerge a week later on a billboard lying supine in a see-through body suit on a clear plastic table thrusting your pelvis into the air for all the world to see! Fame: You never know where it will find you. It's interesting they think of the clothes as art supplies. We'd call them pieces of slutty gym-bunny Halloween costumes, but that's practically the same thing.