Perhaps I am becoming a cranky old man, but I am frustrated with the increased prices on everything. lately, especially during this recession. Since when did a soda at a restaurant become $2.50-$3.00 a glass ... and why are almost all arcade games a dollar, including driving games, where even if you win the race, you don't get to drive again without coughing up another four quarters.
American Apparel launched in 1997, but didn't hit big amongst hipsters until around 2004. It wasn't long before American Apparel stores began launching all over the United States and bands like Fall Out Boy, All Time Low and Cobra Starship made plain hoodies, with no logos, a popular fashion statement.
Here's my issue with American Apparel ... it's too expensive. Basic t-shirts run anywhere from $17 and up, while one pair of underwear can cost you up to $14 ... Once again this is for ONE PAIR! There's currently a pair of women's thigh-high socks available on the American Apparel website for $15. I'm surprised that it's not $15 per sock.
I don't know about you, but I can't afford to spend $40 on a t-shirt and pair of underwear. You can get a 6-pack of underwear at Target for $10! You can get a 4-pack of t-shirts at Kmart for $12.99!
American Apparel sells clothes and accessories for women, men, babies and pets, so there is something for everybody, which I commend, but the marketing behind American Apparel is anything but family-friendly. Take a second to Google American Apparel ads and you will find countless women, who look like they just turned 18, nearly naked, and in some cases partially naked. I am not prude by any means, but I can imagine the countless amount of parents who have to shield their children's eyes when passing these giant billboards in NYC.
No matter what I think, American Apparel has done very well for itself. The company has made millions upon millions of dollars and as I write this, another 15 stores across the World are opening their doors, about to sell $17 spaghetti tank tops to women who won't even think twice before reaching for their credit card!
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American Apparel was founded in 1988 by Dov Charney. Although the company produced clothing in Mexican sweatshops early on, all opperations were moved to Los Angeles by 2000, and the brand began to position itself as a progressive corporation. AA employees earn an average of $13 per hour and receive benefits--including healthcare, paid sick and vacation days, company-subsidized lunches, ESL training--not often associated with factory workign conditions.
In 2003, the company began to shift its rhetorical model from "sweatshop free" to "vertically-integrated." The shift highlighted the company's insistence upon designing, producing, and retailing items of clothing at a single site. The model would allow the company to expedite the process of bringing an item of clothing to market while still keeping emphasis on the original values of made-in-the-US production.
A fortune 500 company, American Apparel exceded $124 million in revenue for 2004. The company has opened retail locations througout the United States, Canada, and western Europe, as well as a handful of stores in Mexico, Korea, Israel.