It's Official: American Apparel Is Back

Photo: Andrew Burton/Getty Images.
More than a year after disappearing from high streets, American Apparel is relaunching in the UK as an online-only outlet.
After filing for bankruptcy and closing all 13 of its UK stores, the brand was bought by Canadian company Gildan, who relaunched it as an online outlet in the US last August.
Now, Gildan has announced that a dedicated UK online store will launch from today.
Marketing director Sabina Weber told Campaign Live: "The UK is a loved and important market for American Apparel and customer demand made it easy for us to make the decision to enter back into the market."
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A new @americanappareluk Instagram feed has already been launched, with posts tapping into nostalgia for the brand's signature items.
American Apparel was founded by Canadian business Dov Charney in 1989. At its peak in 2011, it had more than 250 stores worldwide.
Though the brand was praised during its heyday for making clothes in sweatshop-free facilities and paying workers a living wage, it also attracted plenty of controversy. Its overtly sexualised advertising campaigns, often featuring very young models, were widely criticised and even banned.
The brand's image was tarnished further when Charney became the subject of several sexual harassment lawsuits in the noughties. He was eventually fired as CEO in 2014.
Speaking in December, marketing director Sabina Weber said the new American Apparel wants retain its "sexy" image, but without slipping back into exploitative bad habits.
“We don’t believe in covering up,” she told Adweek. “Women feel so conflicted about being sexual right now, but we’re taking a position to still be sexy, unapologetically so, but from an empowered female perspective.”
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