Thursday, 17 June 2010

American Apparel has strange dress codes for its employees.

Clothing brand American Apparel has come into some heavy criticism this week for the way it treats its employees - Gawker have been running a little series of expose stories which give a nasty insight into a company where "ugly" employees are routinely got rid of. This is enforced by management spot-checks and compulsory "class photos" to be submitted to head office. No-one is hired without full-length pictures being submitted for scrutiny. Men are not hired for shop-floor work, women with short hair are rejected and attitudes to non-white applicants are distinctly dodgy.

The oddest revelation concerns the company's dress and grooming code for its shop and other staff. In line with the image conveyed by the company's advertising, the "natural look" reigns supreme. Hair is not to be dyed, obvious make-up is not to be worn, and most bizarrely, eyebrows should be allowed to "grow out".

Some of the items on the list make sense - most clothing stores give their employees a "uniform" allowance and insist on own-brand - but AA takes it to an extreme where it doesn't even make sense. Surely, the outfit above, taken from AA's UK site, is just screaming for electric blue eyeshadow to really finish off the look?

It isn't clear whether these rules apply to AA shops in the UK. AA's controversial and somewhat creepy boss, Dov Charney, is curiously silent on the revelations.

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