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American Apparel due for online return next week

Lauretta Roberts
07 August 2017

American Apparel is set to make its return online next week when new owner Gildan plans to reactivate its website.

The embattled brand was acquired by Canadian manufacturer and brand owner Gildan in January of this year after it entered Chapter 11 bankruptcy last November. Its UK arm, which ran 13 stores, was placed into administration and all stores were closed.

Gildan paid $88m for American Apparel's IP and other assets and made a separate deal to acquire some inventory, but the deal did not include its stores.

It had promised to re-launch the brand's website this summer. Reports suggest that will now happen by next week and that Gildan will be sticking to American Apparel's proud "made in America" ethos by using its own vertically integrated production facilities and working with a third-party US manufacturer.

American Apparel's insistence on making its product in the US was seen by some as part of the reason for its downfall as its prices were higher than those of its other young-fashion rivals. As such the brand fell out of favour during the last financial downturn and never fully recovered.

Its controversial founder Dov Charney, who was the subject of sexual harassment claims (and was fired from the business in 2014), and its sexually charged advertising were all said to have contributed to its fall from grace.

However Gildan's own extensive manufacturing capabilities, which extend to yarn spinning, dying, knitting, cutting and sewing through to distribution, are said to better place it to produce the product at a more reasonable price. Gildan also owns brands such as Goldtoe, Kushyfoot, Peds and Secret and produces Under Armour and New Balance under license.

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