Better stock up tights and slim slacks now. If you’ve walked by an American Apparel store in the past month or so, you’ve seen those big signs announcing everything in the store is 40 percent off, a discount big enough to make you not regret the price you pay for a simple, if undeniably comfortable, T-shirt. That was before the retailer was sold off to Canadian company and maker of uncomfortable T-shirts Gildan last week. Now, layoffs have begun and all 110 outlets of the retailer are set to close, including the ones in Brooklyn.
A worker at the Flatbush Avenue store last week seemed optimistic the store might stick around (it won’t, based on news reports; stores may start closing in 100 days). When I asked when the 40 percent-off sale is ending, she said “I don’t think it is.” That means the process of liquidating American Apparel’s stock of slim slacks and hoodies and unitards is well underway, and discounts are only going to get steeper as the days tick by.
If you read a lot of Brokelyn, you know we spend a lot of time clowing on #brands, but it was hard not to have a love-hate-mostly-love relationship with American Apparel, once it passed out of its Terry Richardson, sexual predator phase, at least. It’s OK to pay a little more for a T shirt if you know it’s made for fair wages in the USA, because that’s better for everyone in the long run. And the clothes are simple, logo-free vestments that pass the very basic test of comfortable things you can wear out of the house in decent society. At a time when no one was making clothes for slim guys, American Apparel looked at guys like me and said “No one is making shirts for that guy. Let’s make shirts for that guy!”
The deep discounts — which you can use online too — mean you can get all your AA basics for less than what you’d pay for other brands, but the shelves will start getting bare real soon. At least we still have L Train Vintage.