Dov Charney Crazy or Genius?

Dov Charney is at it again.   This time he’s stirring up controversy over banner ads that contain nudity.   This is just the latest controversy surrounding the American Apparel CEO involving sex and nudity.   But in an economic disaster, what else should be said about a CEO who creates American products, using an American workforce, and is not laying anyone off.

The ad features porn star Charlotte Stokely in a yellow one-piece swimsuit, which unzips in front.   The Flash ad actually shows Charlotte Stokely unzipping the swimsuit and exposing her breasts.   Quite shocking, and definitely overcomes traditional banner blindness.

This comes just a few weeks after news about the 5th known lawsuit filed against Dov Charney for sexual harassment.   Although in fairness, the previous four have never gone to court. They have either been dismissed, or settled outside the court room.

Charney, who is originally from Canada, founded American Apparel in 1991 as a competitor to Hanes.   Since then the company has grown to become the largest exclusive American clothing manufacturer in the country.

Dov Charney often touts the logic behind the vertical integration model of American Apparel, which helps avoid any outsourcing, and can bring a product from idea to market in less than two weeks.

American Apparel also uses what they refer to as a team manufacturing approach to production, which allocates the strongest work force to priority orders.   By allowing each team to function on it’s own, determining their own production schedule, American Apparel employees maintain a level of control over their own hourly wage.


  1. Those things are very small in comparison. Sued by Woody Allen? If he can’t take a joke, screw him. Charney holding meetings in the nude is a well know (and FALSE) urban legend cooked up in some lawsuits. The pure logistics of someone pulling that off and being sued only once is ridiculous. It’s funny but at the same time, a very serious charge that is affecting the stock price without justification.

    Great piece.

  2. @Andy Thanks for the comment. I agree that the whole ‘meetings in the nude’ thing sound crazy. It reminds me of the Po Bronson book, ‘The Nudist on the Late Shift’.

Leave a Reply