Former employees wrote to Gawker giving us more reason to give the ‘all-American’ brand our fiercest side eye.
An American Apparel ex-manager was given specific instructions on the type of Black girl the company looks for during open casting calls:
“None of the trashy kind that come in, we don’t want that. we’re not trying to sell our clothes to them. Try to find some of these classy black girls, with nice hair, you know?”
For you natural hair undergrads looking to rock seemingly cool clothing for the coveted retail employee discount, it seems, surprisingly, American Apparel is looking for you.
“The other manager on the call with me later became a district manager, and at one point instructed me to tell two of my employees (both of whom happened to be black females) to stop straightening their hair. I refused to do this, but wondered if the mentality behind her request was related to what Dov had said.”
“Dov” is Dov Charney, the company’s eccentric owner and the mastermind behind the brand’s frequent soft porn ads. Seems Dov considers an afro ‘nice hair,’ and straight hair bad hair. This is a fascinating paradox for anyone remotely familiar with Black hair politics. A preference for natural hair could be considered progressive, but discriminating based on an employee’s hairstyle, or any other trait is never cool.
For more on American Apparel’s bizarre hiring practices, check out Gawker.
What do you think about the brand’s employee preferences? Share your thoughts with us!