Incoming CEO of youth fashion brand American Apparel, Paula Schnieder, says the cheeky firm’s racy ad campaigns – often featuring racy crotch shots of teenage girls – have damaged the brand and will no longer be part of the strategy.
Schnieder recently assumed the top job at the global brand, replacing controversial boss Dov Charmey who was fired from the company he owned and founded mid-way through 2014 amid allegations of inappropriate behaviour with staff.
Speaking to the US rag trader title Business Of Fashion, Scnieder said: “There’s a way to tell our story where it’s not offensive. It is an edgy brand. And it will continue to be an edgy brand.”
American Apparel – who has stores in Sydney, Melbourne and Adelaide, but typically sells online – has become more famous for its racy campaigns than its ethical fabrics and manufacturing techniques.
Schnieder says her new approach to the label will be to promote its US-heritage, it’s pro-gay and –lesbian stance, and its cachet with Gen Ys.
“The beauty of this company is that it’s a millennial customer,” Schneider said. “So many people are trying for that and have no way to get there. We have that. And we can expand the demographics.”
However, the edgy ads aren’t going for good. In a campaign just before Christmas, American Apparel used gay teenager, Brendan Jordon – who shot to fame in the US while ‘vogueing’ in a live news report – wearing pink tights and what appeared to be a tutu.
Meanwhile, a new online TVC for the firm features an electic mix of people – from drag queens to plus-sized models – dancing about in American Apparel’s new range of underwear.