Photo: American Apparel ad
A former American Apparel employee dished about what it’s like to work for the controversial retailer. American Apparel favoured hiring young, attractive women, the anonymous woman wrote on xojane.com.
She described how the manager was chosen:
(The recruiter) ended up choosing a 19-year-old girl who bore a striking resemblance to Ke$ha — it was the hair -– with zero management experience to run the store. It hardly mattered though, since she was the most attractive, friendly and flamboyant employee in the place, and could probably sell decorative gourds if she batted her eyelashes hard enough.
On who didn’t make the cut:
We turned away a lot of competent people, based on the fact they had too many piercings or just didn’t quite look the part -– that is, thin, well groomed and conventionally attractive. I worked with women who had different body types and women of different races, but never anyone who was fat.
The store had strict appearance standards:
We had to follow stringent standards of appearance every time we worked in the store, which meant no “off brand” footwear like Dr. Martens or Keds, no chipped nail polish and we couldn’t even wear our own eyeglasses. Any employee who wore prescription glasses had to buy a pair of American Apparel frames and get them filled on their own dime.
And the young employees partied on the job:
The only excitement came when we spent our shifts discussing our weekend exploits instead of helping customers, or when the store would close and we would get high and drunk while still on the clock to complete overnight merch flips or weekly inventory checks. If that sounds unprofessional, just remember we had a 19-year-old manager.
The woman eventually became frustrated with the store and left her job. If true, her account confirms many of the negative stereotypes about American Apparel.
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