Reimagining American Apparel

Reimagining American Apparel

I usually read my news online, but this week, I went old-school and bought a paper. On the back page was this ad for American Apparel:

More of the same? Really?

Given all the talk of AA’s potential bankruptcy last April, and the subsequent closing of many stores in my city I’d hoped the company would try to reinvent its image. But no. Here’s the same, controversial, hyper-sexual messaging that made AA a big name, but failed to keep its sales high.

That’s a shame, because American Apparel isn’t just some fad brand without a story to tell. This is a company that has produced sweatshop-free clothing since day one. Its decision makes exploitative labor in developing countries less profitable—and strengthens the U.S. economy at the same time. Don’t you want to support a company like this?

Sex isn’t all that sells. If I were on AA’s creative team, I’d push for its transformation into a brand that stands for quality and equality alike – I’m not just being an idealist either, apparel darling Tom’s shoes has already shown that this is a sound marketing strategy. Here’s my mockup of what AA’s new, more ethics-focused brand campaign might look like. American Apparel, you’re free to drop me a line.

March 6, 2012