After a quiet U.S. launch, American Apparel is in more than 200 countries


Last August, American Apparel made a quiet comeback following a downfall that was anything but.

After financial turmoil and the ousting of controversial founder Dov Charney, the Los Angeles-based brand of affordable, casual wardrobe staples was acquired by Canadian wholesaler Gildan and then went back to basics, relaunching core styles like crew-neck T-shirts and fleece hoodies for U.S. consumers.

A slow growth plan was smart for a company whose demise was partially the result of growing and opening stores too quickly, but now it seems to be accelerating things a bit. As of Tuesday, the brand has gone global again: Its online store is now shoppable from over 200 countries via a new site.

“We have deep love for our global customers, who really love and get the brand’s sense of humor and irreverent nature,” said Sabina Weber, Director, Marketing at American Apparel. “They also know the quality and the timeless, effortless styles that we offer and they miss having those pieces in their closets.”

The aesthetic of the company, from product to marketing, hasn’t changed much since the first iteration, but the company is now placing more of an emphasis on body positivity, inclusiveness and diversity — hoping to erase the sexually exploitative image with which some might associate Charney-era American Apparel.

In addition to being able to shop the collection, international shoppers will likely start to see the brand’s campaign imagery, both digitally and on billboards. All of its models are cast on Instagram and are over 21 years old. “Setting the tone for the brand’s pledge to work with real people, the campaign models represent a diversity of body types, ages, and ethnicities, all sharing the same playful, confident and honest spirit,” reads a press release.

The brand is also pushing an ethical production message; while not everything is made in LA or even the U.S. anymore, it is all said to be “ethically made” and “sweatshop-free.” There’s no word yet on physical store openings, but as long as international shoppers are cool with their American Apparel being made elsewhere and owned by a Canadian company, the company could now be that much closer to reaching the potential it never could with its original founder.


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