Who cares if he sexually assaulted people, right?
Though founded in 1989, it wasn’t until around 2008 that Dov Charney’s American Apparel reached extreme popularity. With pricey basics informed by the 1970s and 1980s, the brand was the epicenter of what’s known today as “indie sleeze.”
Chrome leggings, slick disco pants, dolphin shorts were front and center within the brand’s striking campaign style, which often enlisted actual employees and designers.
To it’s credit, the brand’s imagery was cutting edge and appeared unedited, though centered around a very singular body type and aesthetic. Think makeup-free, slim, and very “LA.”
In 2014, Charney became embroiled in sexual assault allegations, the following year a slew of inappropriate text messages from the founder to his employees surfaced. The self-proclaimed “bad daddy” was ALLEGEDLY the author of the following:
“Your ass in that photo is the perfect c*m target!”
“Jack off fun for a bad daddy”
“Daddy is so excited to play with the most little tiny blonde c*m kitten in the whole school”
“Should I unload my c*ck now??? Like a filthy pig?”
“The feeling of your spit dripping down my ass crack would drive me crazy”
“I f*cking need a phone f*ck”
“I am jerking my d*ck for you and telling you how awful and disgusting I am”
“I like the idea of pulling your hair and f*cking the shit out of you as I ride your body like you were a perfect blond pony”
“I want baby girl drooooool all over my c*ck”
My asterisk is mighty tired.
American Apparel chair Colleen Brown released a statement available here detailing Charney’s transgressions which include filmed sexual acts between Charney and employees "which for some incredible reason had been saved by Mr. Charney to the Company’s network served by him with the use of his Company computer."
Charney was also accused of encouraging employees to make blogs impersonating his accusers to discredit them. According to the Huffington Post, one former employee Irene Morales accused Dov Charney of imprisoning her in 2011 and holding her as a sex slave. Her claim was thrown out, but she did receive $1 million in damages due to the defamation she suffered. A second $1 million settlement was granted to a different accuser who was also impersonated in blogs.
Charney’s alleged behavior also included referring to a group as “Filipino pigs,” smearing dirt on an employee’s face and choking them, using gay slurs, sending porn out to workers, you get the gist.
Dov’s positon was that Colleen Brown was spearheading an inappropriate look at his personal life to distract from the fact that firing him was illegal. He also maintains his sexual relationships were consensual and that sexual relations between coworkers is “unavoidable.”
As of this writing, American Apparel is still in existence, as is Los Angeles Apparel, an eerily similar basics-heavy brand where Charney is a senior partner but not owner.
Sexual allegations, be damned because Ye, formerly known as Kanye West, has enlisted Charney as Yeezy’s new CEO. According to a new report on Puck written by Lauren Sherman, the partnership is confirmed and the duo were also seen shopping at Tokyo’s Don Quijote this weekend.
The partnership is a strange one, and perhaps less than strategic from either party’s point of view.