Exclusive: American Apparel Launches Denim Amidst Rumors of Bankruptcy
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.