American Apparel’s Dov Charney: We’re Not Going Bankrupt”

In exclusive interview with Counselor, CEO says 1st quarter ad specialty sales are up

TREVOSE, PAApril 5, 2011 – American Apparel CEO and majority stockholder Dov Charney in an exclusive interview with Counselor magazine said the company would not go bankrupt and that reports the company is unstable are inaccurate.

“First of all, the announcement about us possibly seeking bankruptcy protection is something we did as an obligation to shareholders to explain that it’s a possibility, however remote,” said Charney, who founded American Apparel. “In reality, to say that the company is unstable is not accurate.”

In light of recent reports that American Apparel is in financial trouble, Charney told Counselor Senior Editor Michele Bell that while the company suffered net losses of $86.3 million in 2010, its ad specialties sales were only down 1%.

Charney, who rarely gives interviews, reached out to shed light on his unconventional company and his role in it. He said the company’s ad specialty sales for the first quarter of 2011 are up, and that he sees a very positive trend in the sale of wholesale merchandise to the ad specialty industry.

“Things are healthier this year than last year, across the board,” Charney said. “We had difficulties last year in the manufacturing process because we had to change over the workers,” he said, referring to an immigration inspection last year that caused the company to replace employees who appeared not to be authorized to work in the U.S. Now with 12,000 employees, the majority of which work in Los Angeles County, Charney said that his workforce has produced more than enough inventory for the season and that American Apparel’s commitment to the ad specialty industry is stronger than ever.

“There’s no chance this industry has to worry about me, or American Apparel, leaving,” Charney told Counselor. “I’ve been producing and selling T-shirts in this industry for more than 20 years and I’m not going anywhere. American Apparel will be producing T-shirts 20 years from now, I assure you.”

Charney said his company has over 14 million garments in its Los Angeles warehouse ready to ship. “The ‘can do’ entrepreneurial spirit that I love about this industry is alive and well, and we feel it’s very important for us to be successful as a ‘Made in the USA’ producer to the incredible ad specialty industry,” he said. “Yes, we got hurt a little bit with the cotton prices, but that’ll subside. American Apparel and I are survivors. We’re going to have a great year and we’re not going bankrupt.”

For the complete interview, click here.

The Neal Award-winning Counselor magazine is the voice of the promotional products industry. It is one of six B-to-B magazines published by the Advertising Specialty Institute.

For more information, contact ASI Editor-in-Chief Melinda Ligos at

[email protected] and (215) 953-3434.

About ASI
The Advertising Specialty Institute is the largest education, media and marketing organization serving the advertising specialty industry, with a membership of over 26,000 distributor firms (sellers) and supplier firms (manufacturers) of advertising specialties. Supplier firms use
ASI print and electronic resources to market products to over 23,000 ASI distributor firms.  Distributor firms use ASI print and electronic resources, which contain nearly every product in the industry from more than 3,200 reputable suppliers, to locate supplier firms and to market services to buyers. ASI provides catalogs, information directories, newsletters, magazines, websites and databases, and offers e-commerce, marketing and selling tools. Visit ASI at and on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, YouTube and the CEO’s blog.