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Body Politics, American Apparel Style

We’ve always been a little skeeved out by the American Apparel phenomenon, what with the eco-conscious, “sweatshop free,” hipster-friendly company’s glaring omission of any sense of enlightened politics when it comes to its squirm-inducing advertising imagery. But the ick factor extends beyond the surface level, as Gawker’s intrepid reporting team is discovering in its ongoing investigation into American Apparel’s hiring practices. –KA

Gawker:

Another former AA manager says that she received the following instructions as to what kind of black girls she should try to hire during the company’s open calls:

“none of the trashy kind that come in, we don’t want that. we’re not trying to sell our clothes to them. try to find some of these classy black girls, with nice hair, you know?”

i will remember that forever, especially the “nice hair” part. he was instructing another manager and i on who to look for during an upcoming open call, and i sat there dumbfounded, listening to him speak while the other manager made “uh huh, got it” sounds on her end of the phone. the other manager on the call with me later became a district manager, and at one point instructed me to tell two of my employees (both of whom happened to be black females) to stop straightening their hair. i refused to do this, but wondered if the mentality behind her request was related to what dov had said.

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