When American Apparel declared bankruptcy and sold out last year, we thought it was dunzo. Well, except one major difference: All of the models on the website appear to be fully clothed. The previously Los Angeles-based company regularly depicted young women in sexually-charged positions, topless, pantsless, and borderline naked. Certain ads were harmless, while others—like the one that depicts a model named Maks who hails from Bangladesh, a part of the world consistently embroiled in hot water because of poor working conditions for factory laborers— is not. Born in Dhaka, the capitol of Bangladesh, Maks vividly remembers attending mosque as a child alongside her conservative Muslim parents. At age four, her family made a life changing move to Marina Del Rey, California. After reading the text accompanying the topless photo of Maks, we were prompted to inquire: what does her being topless have to do with anything? We came to expect nothing better from the brand, whose former CEO Dov Charney is a known sleaze, having been accused by his employees of unwanted sexual contact time and time again.
"There is no singular version of the human experience, and no singular definition of 'neutral' "
American Apparel is At It Again, Reveals Topless Ads for Swimwear
Sources familiar with the matter claim that investment bank Houlihan Lokey Inc. It's more bad news for a company that's dealt with a lot if over the course of the last year. So, just like we did when news of the bankruptcy first hit, let's take a look back at the glory days. The porny days. And aside from sitting on a massive amount of debt, it's been embroiled in numerous lawsuits, ousted and then battled its notoriously raunchy CEO Dov Charney in court, and was only able to bring about 20 percent of fall merchandise to stores due to a lack of funding. Things haven't looked good in a long time. Which is why, today, it wasn't much of a surprise to see The New York Times report that American Apparel is declaring bankruptcy. Still, the company is down, not out: It'll keep its manufacturing center in Los Angeles and its U. And, presumably, it'll still keep churning out advertising, though perhaps of a more subtle sort than its controversial, often-NSFW ads of days past. From the tame stuff of the mid '90s all the way up to the pornified fare of the last few years, here it is.
The 50 Most Porn-y American Apparel Ads Of All Time (NSFW)
American Apparel's ads have always been provocative but lately they've been grabbing headlines. Namely, the ad for sheer lace panties that showed the model's pubic hair seemed to generate a lot of buzz. And then it seemed Dov Charney and crew did an about face --the next ad out showed none of the "t" and "a" that we've come to expect from American Apparel and instead featured some photos of founder Dov Charney 's childhood darkroom and a story about his struggle with dyslexia. When we asked which American Apparel you preferred--modest and personal or unabashedly naked and provocative--the response was clearly in favor of American Apparel's porn-ier side. Or as one commenter wrote, "I don't really care about this guy's childhood, just give me more pubes So we listened and we're giving you what you want. A look back at American Apparel's most provocative ads through the years. Unsurprisingly, last month wasn't the first time the hipster retailer released an ad showing pubic hair. Oh, American Apparel. You are such a tease.