American Apparel has dominated the headlines recently for all the wrong reasons: former employees alleging that the label’s founder, Dov Charney, sexually harassed them; the company recently reported a net loss of $86.3 million for 2010; today’s WWD reports that “a looming April 30 deadline that could cut off its ability to borrow from banks and cover daily operating costs, which could potentially trigger a Chapter 11 bankruptcy filing.” In spite of all that–and perhaps in some part because of the troubles the label is facing–American Apparel is launching denim.
“Jeans are an iconic, essential part of the modern wardrobe, just like the t-shirt,” Charney said in a press release announcing the launch. “No one does basics like American Apparel. We’ve mastered the basic t-shirt, now we’re getting excited about jeans.”
American Apparel’s denim line has been in development for a year and will be in store tomorrow (and trickling into a few stories today). The line launches with two styles for women–a high-waist tapered leg blue jean and a high-waist cuffed jean short–and plans to roll out a heavy-weight untreated men’s jean for back to school. The jeans will be produced in American Apparel’s LA factory, using 100% cotton 14 ounce denim which is thicker–i.e. made to be broken in. The jeans will retail for $80, and the sewing and dying process to complete a single pair of jeans uses more than 40 fair wage workers.