Retail Strategist, New York City, NY, USA Dec 17 2014
American Apparel, its Board, and All Involved Parties,
As a former American Apparel employee, I’m infuriated by recent actions removing Dov Charney from his position as CEO. The Board of American Apparel’s shortsighted decision-making is directly in conflict with the public company’s best interests.
Dov Charney, founder and former CEO, is the ‘secret sauce’ to which any praise given to American Apparel must be directed toward. His ingenious flair, intuitive aesthetic sentiment, and creative cunning are the glue which binds the brand with America’s collective conscious.
It’s not that American Apparel cannot ‘function’ in his absence, it’s that his absence removes from American Apparel the crucial ingredient with which you find yourself relevant: a multi-million dollar brand with global recognition and mass appeal with fashion’s trickiest target demographic.
Without Dov Charney, you’ve not just assumed the reigns of a fledgling powerhouse, but you’ve extracted a vital pillar which keeps the brand afloat.
Dov Charney is American Apparel’s most valuable asset. Working closely together, I’ve witnessed his pre-emptive forecasting for trends years in advance. I’ve witnessed him uncover entire sub-markets through vintage deadstock — the same deadstock handfuls of stockists were attempting to write-off as liabilities. He is not some parvenu unacclimated to the needs of global enterprise. He is not some foolish founder blocking fortune. He is the very blood running through all veins of American Apparel.
Once gone, he cannot be replaced. There is no person apt to meet his level of expertise, effort, and energy. You cannot make this mistake.
Privately, I’ll admonish the political decision-making for what it is: a power grab. Clearly a decision to terminate a CEO without warning must be taken carefully.
It is with Dov Charney that American Apparel has better days ahead.
I aggressively urge the board of American Apparel to allow a restructuring which re-instates Dov Charney as CEO of American Apparel.
Anything less is a disservice to the brand, the shareholders, and the general public.