American Apparels

Can Paula Schneider Save American Apparel From Its Reputation?

Schneider showed up on the first-day at American Apparel in jeans, prepared get the woman hands dirty. For a dollars-and-cents exec just who views her goal first and foremost as preserving the bottom line, that suggested revising the budget line by-line, staffing up the planning division that coordinates the factory, altering the purchase markdown signs so stores did not look like these people were going out of business, and reorganizing the organization top to bottom so that 40 people were no further directly stating on top supervisor. She is "shutting underperforming shops as needed"— three so far—but has plans to open stores in new areas. (she's got the woman attention on Puerto Rico and Queens, ny.)

None that is the reason starting the task felt "like I'd been shot regarding a cannon." Obviously Schneider knew about the company drama; what she wasn't prepared for ended up being the hit's perpetual interest. "I've operate prominent companies, but there hasn't been debate. You operate all of them; they do well; it's just business, " she claims. "you understand I experienced my face-on a picket indication? I was thinking, 'Oh, at least they used a nicely Photoshopped picture.'" That indication had been calling away a rumored $350, 000 performance extra, which she'll receive pending the outcomes of her first year (and which she claims is in shares and options and it is really "worth far less than that"), at the same time when numerous factory employees were faced with a reduction in hours.

In her first week on-the-job, Schneider states she got a congratulatory telephone call from Martha Stewart, who she'd never found before. She also got a letter from anti-porn company Morality in Media (recently renamed the National target intimate Exploitation), informing her that American Apparel's hypersexual adverts had won the business a spot regarding the organization's "Dirty Dozen" directory of "top contributors to sexual exploitation": "i simply handed it to my attorney with a note having said that, 'Great—i am thrilled to be regarding the list, '" she claims. If the reaction appears flippant, that could be why Schneider had been a Charney-approved candidate—as the current guardian for the US Apparel DNA, she's every purpose of keeping things (profitably) risqué. "i am sorry if you're offended by a woman using a thong, but we do offer thongs, therefore we must show exactly what it seems like, " she says.

Having said that, a few of the ads have actually "stepped throughout the range, " she claims. "i have for ages been a huge supporter of I would say 90 % of exactly what the marketing and advertising does." As for that various other ten percent, she details the offenders within the somewhat impatient tone of somebody who's already been asked equivalent question countless times: spread-eagle pictures with tag lines like "open for company" or "back to college"—"where exactly what appears like a schoolgirl features her crotch showing because she is bending over a car"—or those in which "it virtually seems like she is masturbating." Schneider shakes the woman mind. "I do not believe you'll want to get there—that's maybe not impressive."

Exactly what seems to bother her many is a protest that occurred a year ago in Stockholm, when a local writer decried their anything-but-neutral way of marketing supposedly gender-neutral things, noting the same plaid top shown buttoned on a male design is marketed open and strategically mussed on ladies who "look like they've simply had intercourse." "In Sweden, we have had our windows broken in the shop because American Apparel is considered a rape culture, " Schneider states. That types of mentality, in Sweden and in other places, "is problematic."

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