Lately I've been waking up really early for no reason. I don't understand it because I don't go to sleep early (actually, I'm in bed early, but I can't physically sleep for hours). It's pretty bad because I get more hungry as I'm awake, doing things. So of course, I've been snacking myself silly . . .
This is completely unrelated to my next topic. Lately there's been a focus on American Apparel's Hiring Policies in the news and I thought I would throw in my two cents.
First off, I've never been a fan of American Apparel. I don't own anything by them. This is not because of anything other than the fact that their fashion is not my style. That, and just by looking at heir mannequin displays, I can tell their targeted audience are skinny androgynous dancers. I think it's one thing when a high end label focuses on skinny girls because that's been going on for decades in the fashion world. But fast fashion labels like American Apparel, I feel, should aim for a broader audience because it's mass market, and more people can afford to buy from them.
So of course, I see this article on Gawker, and am not surprised.
Last July, a disgruntled AA store manager told us that AA CEO Dov Charney "made store managers across the country take group photos of their employees so that he could personally judge people based on looks. He is tightening the AA 'aesthetic,' and anyone that he deems not good-looking enough to work there, is encouraged to be fired." Charney later issued a conspicuously vague denial, saying only that AA hires employees who "have good fashion sense...But this does not necessarily mean they have to be physically attractive."I don't think it wrong to necessarily have a certain look that you want your employees to represent. You have to be selective to a certain point. But I think it's wrong that a manager is using fashion as an excuse to reject people, because truthfully they find them too ugly.
Another article was posted on Gawker on Thursday, with some quotes from employees. This is one of them:
American Apparel is full of it when they tell you that staff photos or "class photos" as they call them, are infrequent. When I was managing we had to send photos into our store consultant (a high school dropout) weekly... Not only did they police our clothes but our eyebrows, makeup, nails and hair color. They also openly mocked employees by posting photos of them online. Our store consultant also on several occasions told girls to lose weight or told them they were "too top heavy for crop tops"...They routinely denied applications based on looks or shoes.
I know this is not just American Apparel. Many other industries do this. It's not really something that can be stopped. But AA is a big company. The fact that these articles are being published on the web, I think, will maybe swing some potential buyers into not going in the stores after all. Or maybe not. What do I know?
Actually, what I do know is, one commenter on the first Gawker article wrote:
If only the vapid and pretty can work for your company, that means the smart people are working for your competition.Funny thing, ain't it?
Well, whatever happens or doesn't happen to American Apparel, those were my thoughts. Happy Saturday, everyone?