American Apparel’s latest campaign star is a furry three-toed sloth

The controversial clothing label features a rather unusual model - more covered up than normal

American Apparel’s latest attempt to rescue the clothing company from crisis involves a three-toed sloth, who appears to be the face of its latest campaign – bet you didn’t see that coming.

Buttercup, the 23-year-old sloth, does not appear wearing the label’s iconic disco pants or spandex; instead it appears gracefully chilling in an “ironic” lady pose, to promote two things: American Apparel’s eco credentials and the Sloth Sanctuary in Costa Rica.

Alongside the image, the ad warns “Buttercup has a surprise. Stay tuned” as it describes Buttercup as the sloth who “loves entertaining guests and posing for photos”.

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American Apparel's Buttercup, the sloth

The campaign celebrates American Apparel’s Earth Day 2015 collaboration with artist Todd Selby, who’s created a t-shirt for the brand made of certified organic and pesticide-free cotton, featuring the furry animal.

This year alone, the global clothing label, known for its controversial ad campaigns, has made the headlines for different reasons – firstly when it had an ad banned and then for airbrushing the nipples of its lingerie models, amongst other controversies.

The LA-based brand is currently struggling after its founder and former CEO Dov Charney was sacked and replaced by CEO Paula Schneider, who’s currently attempting to tone down the brand’s sexualised imagery.

Earlier this year she told Bloomberg: “It doesn’t have to be overtly sexual. There’s a way to tell our story where it’s not offensive.”

However, the first months of Schneider’s reign have proved tricky, perhaps featuring a cheerful sloth, rather than its usual controversial young-looking models in suggestive poses, is part of the new efforts towards recovery and less ‘sexual’ branding.

It remains to be seen whether Buttercup the sloth can save American Apparel.

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