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Response to’s Advice to Dov Charney

Screen Shot 2016-02-02 at 9.47.20 PMThere is an interesting article at about Dov Charney, now that he appears to be permanently ousted from the company he started, American Apparel. They report that an investment firm may back him in starting a new garment company. Their advice is basically don’t be bitter and grow up.

Not bad advice I suppose…but they must not know Dov. The man has no edit function in his brain and where others may have loose tongues with no editing, I think Dov actually has an accelerator that takes anything that pops into his head and it goes straight to the mouth. And hey, I’m 62 and I long ago gave up on the idea I would “grow up” and I doubt Dov is going to either.

Minor point to make at this point. They tell Dov, “Spend less time being overwhelmed with vengeance and feelings of betrayal about your investors and more time being overwhelmed with vengeance and feelings of betrayal about the material and cut of a Hanes beefy t-shirt.”  Ok, cut of a Beefy T yes, but they should have done a little research; the Beefy is the original shirt that was ringspun cotton, like American Apparel shirts are ringspun cotton. Go pick on a million other branded shirts that are “open end yarn” and not ringspun cotton. Hey, I just got inducted into the Hanes Beefy T Hall of Fame, I had to make that f’n point.

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Yours truly upon entry into the Hanes Beefy T Hall of Fame with the Lovely and Talented Rachel Newman director of sales and marketing for Hanes Branded Printwear

My biggest “beef” with the article is that they don’t mention what I think is at the heart of Dov’s success, that he has a big social conscience. He didn’t just make a shirt that felt good when you wore it, he made a shirt that you could feel good about wearing because the working conditions in his factory were very progressive. He brought the term “sweatshop” into play and every other brand now has to make some effort or at least pretend to make an effort to treat their workers at least ok.

So I agree with them. Dov, cut the bitterness and take the high road. However, I think that high road includes keeping the soul of what you have done already, anti-sweatshop and made in America.


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