American Apparel’s disgraced founder seems to be resurrecting his ‘dead’ brand under a new name

Los Angeles Apparel
Los Angeles Apparels’ clothes look shockingly familiar. Los Angeles Apparel

Dov Charney has started a new clothing company that’s shockingly similar to American Apparel.

The brand, called Los Angeles Apparel, launched in late 2016 soon before American Apparel — the company that Charney founded — declared bankruptcy in October.

According to Bloomberg’s Matthew Townsend, the sense of deja vu goes beyond the similar name. Other shocking similarities include:

  • The motto: Charney is reportedly considering the slogan, “Made in South Central.” American Apparel’s is “Made in Downtown L.A.”
  • The clothing: Los Angeles Apparel is upfront about the fact that its clothing is essentially identical to American Apparel’s. “Below are original classic garments developed by Dov Charney over the last two decades,” the website reads. “They are equivalent to the styles Charney has offered in the past, from a specification, colour and textile perspective.”
Los Angeles Apparel
Essentially all of Los Angeles Apparel’s classic originals were sold at American Apparel. Los Angeles Apparel
  • The models: While Los Angeles Apparel hasn’t launched any marketing campaigns like American Apparel’s racy ads quite yet, models on the website share the brand’s approach to “natural beauty,” showcasing minimal makeup and thick brows.
  • The customers: Los Angeles Apparel is starting as a wholesale business. Apparel companies, such as Cincinnati-based TSC Apparel, have simply swapped their American Apparel orders for Los Angeles Apparel after the brand filed for bankruptcy.
  • The workers: American Apparel’s bankruptcy meant that Charney could hire laid-off workers for his new company.
  • The supplies: According to Bloomberg, Charney bought fabric, computers, sewing machines, and even light bulbs from American Apparel in the bankruptcy sale.
  • The warehouse: American Apparel previously used Los Angeles Apparel’s production center and warehouse space — where Charney now also lives. “I will not leave. This is my bed. This is my room. This is where I sleep,” he told Bloomberg.

Charney was pushed out at American Apparel in 2014. He had been sued for harassment by employees several times, in suits that were settled or thrown out of court.

Canadian apparel maker Gildan bought the American Apparel brand for $US88 million in a bankruptcy auction January, integrating the brand into the company’s wholesale business.

“The company is dead,” Charney told The Atlantic of the deal. “They’re just tossing around a brand. It’s like Polaroid or Sharper Image. The spirit of American Apparel is dead.”