American Apparel Debuted A "Pro-Women" Ad Campaign Featuring Employees

Photo: Courtesy of @AmericanApparelUSA Instagram.
Over the past several months, American Apparel has made no secret of its plans for a total brand overhaul. Since firing founder and CEO Dov Charney, the company has hired new CEO Paula Schneider, revised its sexual harassment policy, and, in Schneider's words, begun the "bottom-up process" to de-sleaze the image Charney had created. One of the most obvious places to start is the ad campaigns.

Throughout its history, American Apparel has become synonymous with overtly sexual (and often offensive) campaigns portraying young models in various states of undress and compromising positions. Recently, the brand has made attempts to undo its sexism, featuring unexpected campaign stars such as the 15-year-old YouTube star Brendan Jordan and a trans model. The company's latest campaign aims to empower women by turning the camera on its own employees.

WWD reports that the "Hello Ladies" ads feature various American Apparel employees (not models) of all ages, identified by their name and how long they've been at the company. Rather than slapping a cheeky slogan across the page, the message is straightforward: “Women have always been in charge at American Apparel,” it states. “In fact, women make up 55% of our global workforce (sorry, guys) and an even higher percentage of our leadership and executive roles. This structure is incredibly (and unfortunately) rare in the corporate world.” American Apparel first debuted the campaign a month ago on Instagram for International Women’s Day, and it will make its print debut in this month’s issue of Vice  (not so coincidentally, the first issue helmed by the magazine's new female editor-in-chief Ellis Jones). 

As Cynthia Erland, American Apparel's senior vice president of marketing, said of the partnership, “We have had a great relationship with Vice for years, and plan on continuing to work closely with them on future campaigns and partnerships.” Considering these are two polarizing, historically provocative brands in the midst of their own reinventions, it might just be a perfect match. (WWD)
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