After Gawker exposed American Apparel’s tres douchey style guidelines for staff (“Classy-Vintage-Chique-Late 80’s-Early 90’s-Ralph Lauren-Vogue-Nautical-High end brand”) as well as the hiring policy (which focuses less on retail experience and more on the aesthetics, fatness and hair length of candidates), the brand and its CEO / self-appointed style czar, Dov Charney, have be scorned derisively by pretty much everyone who isn’t currently working as Am App floor staff (now feeling a touch sheepish in their embarrassingly Classy-Vintage-Chique-Late 80’s-Early 90’s-Ralph Lauren-Vogue-Nautical-High end outfits).
With their Credible Hipster stock plummeting American Apparel have issued an official statement responding to the revelations about their hiring policy, including the direct phone line for Dov so he can ‘personally address the concerns of anyone interested in having a dialog’.
Press: A Statement about Hiring from American Apparel
June 14, 2010 14:12 PT
In light of recent erroneous online coverage of American Apparel’s hiring and retention policies we are issuing this brief statement to clarify:
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 applications 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 firstname.lastname@example.org. 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.
I checked on the American Apparel website to see what exactly they ARE looking for potential employees beside being hot and matching the ridiculously specific Classy-Vintage-Chique-Bullshit that the style ‘rules’ entail. The description for entry level retail associates outlines (largely unquantifiable) attributes such as being a “trustworthy tastemaker, and not trend follower” and “the intuition to respond to the tastes of individual customers” – skills that American Apparel “appreciate” in potential staff members. They also “appreciate” people who have studied or are studying at a reputable fashion school or art school, but an academic background is not necessary; and retail experience is not necessarily necessary.
What the fuck IS necessary then?!
Me thinks this might be a vague, jargony way of saying “hotties need only apply” without actually using the words. (On the upside, if you are an entirely unqualified, near unemployable, borderline retard that is super goodlooking and dresses like a wealthy art student, it sounds as though you might be able to find work after all. Talk about your strange equal opportunity twists.)
I emailed Dov regarding the meaning behind the elusively phrased intangible employee requirements and will update this post once he gets back to me.
This is fun.