Say what you will about American Apparel founder Dov Charney, but the man is persistent. After he was ousted as CEO of the company he started, he made a failed takeover bid to get it back. Now he’s returned with a brand that doesn’t do much to distance Charney from his past, replacing “American” apparel with Los Angeles Apparel.
In fact, Charney’s new 100,000-square-foot factory in south L.A. is located in a facility that used to make American Apparel clothing.
And according to California Apparel News, Charney has been churning out the types of clothing associated with American — tees, hoodies, bodysuits — before the bankrupt brand was purchased by Canadian clothing company Gildan.
The factory runs 24 hours per day, with some workers volunteering to work a few hours for free until Charney — who reportedly has a bed in his office as he’s often onsite “at all hours” — can pay them. They can then reinvest some of that pay into equity in the new company if they choose.
Earlier this month, Charney’s privately-held company launched a wholesale website, one that will eventually branch out to consumer sales.
Los Angeles Apparel’s mission has definite echoes of American Apparel’s former corporate ideal: Employing thousands of workers in L.A., sourcing textiles and yarn products made in the U.S. and recycled cotton, and dyeing and finishing fabrics locally.
While talking to a recent tour group at the factory, Charney sounded upbeat about the future of his new/old company, California Apparel News noted.
“There is so much opportunity,” he said. “Don’t listen to crybabies. Get dirty, roll up your sleeves, change things.”
After removing founder and then-CEO Dov Charney from his post in June 2014, American Apparel officially fired him in Dec. 2014. Following an investigation into his “alleged misconduct and violations of company policy,” the company said “it would not be appropriate for Mr. Charney to be reinstated as CEO or an officer or employee.”
Charney then filed a slew of defamations lawsuits against his former company, prompting American Apparel to release some pretty graphic allegations in response.