The Internet has not been kind to American Apparel over the last week, as stories emerge about the retailer's alleged employee screening process and dress code. Yesterday Gawker published what was supposedly an e-mail from American Apparel's upper crust to store managers about grooming guidelines, which prohibited liquid foundation, bangs, and gauges, among many other things. American Apparel has responded by posting a statement to their website to clarify "recent erroneous online coverage of American Apparel's hiring and retention policies." The statement includes Dov Charney's e-mail and phone number.
American Apparel does not hire or retain applicants based on 'beauty.' Our main priority is finding people with a strong sense of style who can inspire customers as they make selections from our extensive line. This is an integral part of the job, and we look for people who will enjoy it as a creative outlet. It has never been the policy of American Apparel, as some blogs claim, to fire employees who are not "good looking" or any of the other accusations implied by the anonymous or unverified third party sources. The company legitimately reviews current photographs of job applicants and employees to consider their sense of style and the way in which they present themselves. Through personal interviews, we evaluate whether they possess the skills and personality required to successfully sell our products. This is a standard practice among fashion-forward retailers.
American Apparel has built itself on being open and honest, so we're happy to answer questions and personally address the concerns of anyone interested in having a dialog. You can reach our CEO directly at 213-923-7943 or at email@example.com. And to address what has been most lost in this discussion, American Apparel is in fact continuing to hire in a major way (over 1,000 factory workers in recent weeks alone and hundreds more for retail internationally). We always accept resumes, and of course photos showing your personal style, either online or at one of our open calls worldwide.
We called Dov this morning at about seven o'clock L.A. time. He answered and talked to us for around twenty minutes about the recent spate of negative press and Gawker, but said he didn't want to speak on the record because he was just waking up. He explained he's received a bunch of calls, though most of them are just people calling and hanging up. Anyway, we made a phone date to speak to him later today on the record after he's up and had his Wheaties. But talking to bloggers from your bed at seven in the morning — that's dedication.
A Statement about Hiring from American Apparel [American Apparel]