The Business On... Dov Charney, CEO, American Apparel


What is he accused of now?

No, no, that isn't why he's in the news now. You are right that the eccentric clothier has attracted his share of lurid allegations. Perhaps you're thinking of the claims he beds his models, cavorts round the American Apparel factory in his underpants, puts underage-looking girls in provocative poses in company ads... We could go on.



Go on.

Accusations of discriminatory hiring policies. His reference to his models as "sluts". How he defended himself by saying: "Some of us love sluts." Can we stop now?



OK, so why is he in the news?

The business has taken a terrible turn, and without the forbearance of its lenders American Apparel could be bust by the end of next month.



Yikes. Wasn't American Apparel a great business success story?

It was. From humble beginnings as an entrepreneurial teenager importing T-shirts into Montreal, Mr Charney created an international chain of 280 stores. The slightly sleazy image only added to the allure of its brightly coloured wardrobe staples.



And now?

Sales are slumping – down 16 per cent, we learnt yesterday – and its debts are mounting. Worse, its auditors, Deloitte, walked out in July in a row over how to value the stores, and the company is so far behind in filing its accounts it could be thrown off the New York Stock Exchange.



Is Mr Charney chastened?

He blames a police raid on the company's Los Angeles factory last year, which discovered one in three of its staff was in the US illegally. Replacing them has caused massive disruption. Mr Charney has just stepped up American Apparel's campaign for an amnesty for illegals, under the slogan: "Legalise LA".



That's a neat line, but surely not enough to placate the financiers?

Undoubtedly, no. Maybe Mr Charney can see a way through this crisis that doesn't end with him losing majority control of the firm. If so, he is the only one who can.

Start your day with The Independent, sign up for daily news emails
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs People

Guru Careers: Graduate Resourcer / Recruitment Account Executive

£18k + Bonus: Guru Careers: We are seeking a bright, enthusiastic and internet...

Reach Volunteering: Chair and trustees sought for YMCA Bolton

VOLUNTARY ONLY - EXPENSES REIMBURSED: Reach Volunteering: Bolton YMCA is now a...

Tradewind Recruitment: Geography Teacher

£150 - £180 per day: Tradewind Recruitment: Geography Teacher Geography teach...

Tradewind Recruitment: Geography Teacher

£150 - £180 per day: Tradewind Recruitment: Geography Teacher Geography teach...

Day In a Page

Abuse - and the hell that came afterwards

Abuse - and the hell that follows

James Rhodes on the extraordinary legal battle to publish his memoir
Why we need a 'tranquility map' of England, according to campaigners

It's oh so quiet!

The case for a 'tranquility map' of England
'Timeless fashion': It may be a paradox, but the industry loves it

'Timeless fashion'

It may be a paradox, but the industry loves it
If the West needs a bridge to the 'moderates' inside Isis, maybe we could have done with Osama bin Laden staying alive after all

Could have done with Osama bin Laden staying alive?

Robert Fisk on the Fountainheads of World Evil in 2011 - and 2015
New exhibition celebrates the evolution of swimwear

Evolution of swimwear

From bathing dresses in the twenties to modern bikinis
Sun, sex and an anthropological study: One British academic's summer of hell in Magaluf

Sun, sex and an anthropological study

One academic’s summer of hell in Magaluf
From Shakespeare to Rising Damp... to Vicious

Frances de la Tour's 50-year triumph

'Rising Damp' brought De la Tour such recognition that she could be forgiven if she'd never been able to move on. But at 70, she continues to flourish - and to beguile
'That Whitsun, I was late getting away...'

Ian McMillan on the Whitsun Weddings

This weekend is Whitsun, and while the festival may no longer resonate, Larkin's best-loved poem, lives on - along with the train journey at the heart of it
Kathryn Williams explores the works and influences of Sylvia Plath in a new light

Songs from the bell jar

Kathryn Williams explores the works and influences of Sylvia Plath
How one man's day in high heels showed him that Cannes must change its 'no flats' policy

One man's day in high heels

...showed him that Cannes must change its 'flats' policy
Is a quiet crusade to reform executive pay bearing fruit?

Is a quiet crusade to reform executive pay bearing fruit?

Dominic Rossi of Fidelity says his pressure on business to control rewards is working. But why aren’t other fund managers helping?
The King David Hotel gives precious work to Palestinians - unless peace talks are on

King David Hotel: Palestinians not included

The King David is special to Jerusalem. Nick Kochan checked in and discovered it has some special arrangements, too
More people moving from Australia to New Zealand than in the other direction for first time in 24 years

End of the Aussie brain drain

More people moving from Australia to New Zealand than in the other direction for first time in 24 years
Meditation is touted as a cure for mental instability but can it actually be bad for you?

Can meditation be bad for you?

Researching a mass murder, Dr Miguel Farias discovered that, far from bringing inner peace, meditation can leave devotees in pieces
Eurovision 2015: Australians will be cheering on their first-ever entrant this Saturday

Australia's first-ever Eurovision entrant

Australia, a nation of kitsch-worshippers, has always loved the Eurovision Song Contest. Maggie Alderson says it'll fit in fine