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American Apparel Dismisses Founder Dov Charney

American-apparel2It's been a rough week for the fashion world's resident creepers.
First, embattled star photographer Terry Richardson offers a weak defense in New York Magazine for the multiple allegations of molest-y behavior on his non-commercial photo shoots, and now, the board of American Apparel is pushing out the company's founder and CEO, Dov Charney. WWD reports:

Charney has been suspended from his executive roles and his termination will be effective following a 30-day "cure" period stipulated in his employment agreement.

The decision to remove Charney comes after ongoing investigations of alleged misconduct. Though news has been quiet on the American Apparel front in recent months, Charney has famously been at the center of several lawsuits against the company alleging sexual misconduct on his part. The brand's history of sexually charged promotional imagery, much of it photographed by Charney himself, didn't help his public image although none of the seven lawsuits had ever made it to a trial. Instead, they were dismissed, remanded to arbitration or settled with no liability to the company. Though they were mostly irrelevant in respect to the legal cases, billboards and window displays focusing on scantily clad models (including the occasional porn star) in suggestive poses have repeatedly raised the ire of feminist and neighborhood activist groups. One particular billboard featuring a film still of Woody Allen in "Annie Hall" brought yet another inevitable lawsuit from Allen and his film studio as well as accusations that Charney was using the company and its resources for his own personal aggrandisement. Charney's own position in the company has been weakened as its rapid expansion over the past 15 years required public offerings and investment from other investors that brought on board members with less patience for Charney's autocratic style. Though the sexual misconduct lawsuits brought negative publicity, it may have been Charney's competence as a financial leader that has ultimately brought him down, mainly by diluting his ownership and the control he would have had over his own professional fortunes. The company's CFO John Luttrell has been appointed as interim CEO, and the board promises that the brand's core concept of manufacturing exclusively in the United States will remain intact. More information is expected to emerge over the next few days, so stay tuned, but exactly how the company and its offerings will change without its main creative force remains to be seen. 

American Apparel Suspends Dov Charney (WWD)


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