American Apparel Pulled Its Controversial Black Friday Employee T-Shirts

Photo: Bloomberg/Getty Images.
American Apparel is facing backlash for suggesting that employees wear black T-shirts emblazoned with the phrase "Ask Me To Take It All Off" for Black Friday. The slogan, which was also written on buttons that sales associates could opt to wear, references the retailer's slated sale for the epic shopping day, in which items marked down 50% will be discounted an additional 50%. Following some pretty negative feedback across the web about the shirts, the retailer shelved the idea last night.

Word about the suggested holiday uniform surfaced when an employee emailed women's "geek culture" website The Mary Sue yesterday afternoon. The irritated employee claimed American Apparel was "actively encouraging our patrons to sexually harass me and my colleagues, some of whom are as young as 15" with the proposed (but not mandatory) garb in question. "There’s no question in my mind that anyone wearing the shirt will face inappropriate comments from customers," the anonymous employee told the site.
Criticism about the shirts ensued, unsurprisingly, and the retailer announced last night that the optional outfit was a no-go: "We have decided to discontinue encouraging employees to wear this slogan and will seek other ways to stay creative and push the envelope, which is part of our brand DNA," an American Apparel spokesperson told Refinery29.

“This slogan on these tee shirts — which were distributed to both male and female employees as optional — was originally intended to be a play on words to engage customers during our Black Friday sale," the company's spokesperson said in a statement. "We understand that this offended an individual employee who spoke up about his/her concerns."
Advertisement

More from Stores

Watch

R29 Original Series

Watch Now
Documentary
Five love stories behind diverse, multicultural marriages.
Watch Now
Lifestyle
Life experiments, 5 days at a time.
Watch Now
Fashion
The style of subculture.
Watch Now
Beauty
Viral trends, tried and tested.
Watch Now
Documentary
From vibrators to lipstick, learn how your favorite products are made.
Watch Now
Documentary
Extraordinary, one-of-a-kind individuals
Watch Now
Documentary
The latest stories to watch.
Watch Now
Lifestyle
Inside the homes of millennial women — & what they paid for them
Watch Now
Comedy
Let's talk about sex, baby.
Watch Now
Documentary
Female artisans around the world
Watch Now
Politics
Made by and for smart, opinionated women.
Watch Now
Film
We helped 12 female directors claim their power.