American Apparel to set up shop in London

Funky clothes and basics from the heart of Los Angeles

Tuesday, April 7th, 2009

American Apparel

Unless you’ve been in hibernation for the past few weeks, you’re probably among those impatiently waiting for American Apparel to finally open on Richmond Street.

The opening was initially slated for fall 2007, but exactly when we will be able to browse the store’s rainbow of tees and leg warmers remains a mystery. The Montreal headquarters refused to comment on an exact opening date, but on the corner of Richmond and Albert streets, passersby can see the daily progress of renovations to the new location.

The fact American Apparel hasn’t come to London sooner is odd. While most outlets are in urban centres such as Montreal and Toronto, the brand recognized its popularity among university students by opening in Kingston, where Queen’s students have been enjoying it for years. Finally, it seems, the student market in London has been noticed.

American Apparel’s appeal to the youth market is obvious. The sometimes plain, and other times outrageous, variety of everything from bodysuits to basic tees is perfect for younger consumers looking for design that fits their style and sensibility. All clothing is made in the U.S., much of it in an 800,000 square foot downtown Los Angeles factory.

American Apparel

American Apparel workers of the lowest rank receive well over minimum wage, subsidized health care and free on-site English lessons. American Apparel boasts sweatshop-free merchandise and offers environmentally friendly, 100 per cent organic cotton tanks, tees and underwear.

Dov Charney is the brain behind the operation. His acute understanding of metropolitan youth culture is the key to his company’s international success. The perfect fitting T-shirts are only the beginning.

Charney believes that while consumer needs of the baby boomers are well satisfied, those of young adults have been neglected. American Apparel’s corporate culture aims to mirror that of the next generation and provide them with the perfectly fitting brand.

With stores from Israel to Korea, Charney embraces wireless communication to keep in touch with employees, transcending borders and focusing on commonalties between youth of all cultures. Their thoughts, values, beliefs " Charney gets it and he provides the perfect products for this lifestyle.

With the company’s focus, it is no wonder American Apparel is so popular among students. In areas like London and Kingston, American Apparel reaches a concentrated youth market.

Whatever sense it makes to open an American Apparel outlet in London, the new store will no doubt be a source for reasonably priced fashion among Western’s most stylish.

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