How much bad press does American Apparel have to get before it starts affecting their business? According to the latest horror stories, the company is not only screening prospective employees for hotness but also dictating exactly what they can and can't wear on the sales floor. Of course, enforcing a dress code isn't illegal (unlike looks-based promotions) but in the case of AA, it sure is obnoxious.
It also might not be going so well. After all, have you noticed the store's new swing towards "Classy-Vintage-Chique-Late 80's-Early 90's-Ralph Lauren-Vogue-Nautical-High end brand"? According to leaked internal documents published by Gawker, that's the company's new aesthetic, which means employees are now strictly forbidden from dressing like scrubby hipsters.
Racked National sums up some of the rules:
On the list of banned shoes: Uggs, winter boots, flip-flops, gladiator sandals, Converse, Vans, Keds (unless they are spic-and-span clean), moccasins, and Doc Martens. Allowed: vintage shoes, booties, and boat shoes. Oh, and shoes they sell in the store, naturally.And according to what an AA manager told Gawker, the company has issued guidelines on hiring black employees that probably cross the line from "we have a uniform" to "we have a racism problem." Ultimately, that last bit might get them in a lot more trouble than using the euphemism "off-brand" to refer to job applicants who just aren't sexy enough to fold t-shirts.
· American Apparel Has a 'Full Body Head to Toe' Employment Policy [Gawker]
· American Apparel: Internal Documents Reveal Uglies Not Welcome [Gawker]
· American Apparel Employees Can't Wear Converse, Keds, or Vans [Racked NY]