This week, American Apparel officially relaunched under the same name, and with the same basic arsenal of t-shirts that we’ve all worn and loved. But they didn’t spend half a year in limbo doing nothing — so, what exactly has changed? What stayed the same? And what can we expect from American Apparel t-shirts moving forward?
Back in January of this year, Gildan Activewear bought the intellectual property rights to American Apparel for a cool $88 million, meaning the American Apparel name, the brand, and the t-shirt designs were all theirs.
On the brand front, everything feels more or less the same. Still incredibly simple, still a little bit edgy, still socially active. The “About Us” section of their site gives us a look at American Apparel’s emphasis on sustainability, social compliance, and even the diversity of their models — further affirming that the new American Apparel hopes to lean into the legacy of the old, as the provocative social activists of the t-shirt and apparel industry (hopefully with a little less controversy this time around).
With Gildan only purchasing the intellectual property of American Apparel, the existing American Apparel manufacturing sites were shut down, giving Gildan the freedom to produce American Apparel t-shirts wherever and however they want.
As was speculated, Gildan decided to move much of the production of American Apparel t-shirts out of the US (to Honduras, as HuffPost reported). Despite the move, American Apparel is still committing to “Globally Sourced, Ethically Made, Sweatshop Free” t-shirts.
That being said, Gildan didn’t move the entire American Apparel production out of the US. American Apparel will offer a selection of t-shirts and hoodies that are produced domestically, but also have a globally made twin, letting you decide what’s more important between a US made product with a slight price bump, or a globally made product that costs a bit less.
The list of items that will be included in their USA Capsule include t-shirts in 100% cotton, 50/50 blend, and tri-blend, a zip-up hoodie, a tank top, a raglan t-shirt, a long-sleeve tee, and a youth tee.
Well, it sure looks like it. Earlier this year, Dov Charney, American Apparel’s polarizing founder, launched a new t-shirt company called Los Angeles Apparel. Not only is the name similar, but Charney looks to be running his new company in the same way; producing t-shirts in Los Angeles, paying above average wages, and embracing his controversial figure as an asset.
His Los Angeles Apparel custom shirts are directly comparable to American Apparel’s in name and in likeness (see the AA TR401 vs the LA Apparel TR01), so you imagine there's a little bit of bad blood between the two companies, who's stories will forever be intertwined.
Absolutely. Get in touch, and tell us about your next t-shirt project, and we’ll be sure to make it happen.