Sofia De Lara, District Manager, Mexico Jan 08 2015
I have been working for American Apparel since 2005, when the first store opened in Mexico City– during this time, I have gone from working in the store as a Sales Associate to my current position as District Manager, while also representing the company as a model in many ads.
Dov Charney has always treated me with love and respect– he has trusted me and allowed me to handle various aspects of the business, including administration, merchandising, marketing, leadership and special events. He sent me to the US and Canada to help with and observe other AA stores, and this has been important in terms of sharing knowledge with other AA employees and contributing to the formation of an overall plan for the Mexican operation.
My appearance in the company’s ads created a lot of publicity in Mexico for the stores that I worked in: people would come just to see me, and sales would go up. The ads also created further opportunities for me to model at fashion shows and in magazines, so American Apparel has had a very positive effect on my life.
Since Dov’s dismissal, I have felt a distinct lack of direction, with no one taking leadership, a slow-down in production and the approval process, and an increase in small, but important problems such as mistakes on the Mexican website. The online store is dying– I have no sense of a vision for publicity, and an overall feeling that no one cares.
My greatest fear is that without Dov Charney, American Apparel is simply not the same company that everyone associates with the name. Dov has always had a vision and direction for the company, as well as the ability to make it happen. It is my belief that he should be reinstated to the CEO position as soon as possible.