The hipster clothing company teeters ever closer to bankruptcy. Some fashion trends just weren't meant to last
It’s a bad week to be a fan of jeggings. Edging closer to bankruptcy filing, American Apparel saw its shares nose-dive again Wednesday, plummeting 26 percent to an all-time low stock price of 81 cents a share. And American Apparel isn’t the only notoriously pretty people-centric retailer that’s stumbling — Abercrombie & Fitch has seen its own shares slide, and will likely shutter 60 stores this year. When these guys can’t cut it anymore, truly, the aughts are over.
So what went wrong? Why have these been such rough days for once ubiquitous purveyors of thick-knit Jersey high-waist cross-back short-alls. There were the sexual harassment lawsuits. There was the blow of lobbying for immigration reform and then losing roughly a third of its staff — 1,800 workers — in an undocumented alien crackdown. There was the escalating controversy over its hiring practices, and apparently blatant preference for only the most aesthetically desirable staff. And then there’s the economy, which in case you’re far too busy winning Powerball to notice, sucks.
But not everybody’s bombing out; both Walmart and Target have posted gains this quarter. Even the long-suffering Old Navy-Gap-Banana Republic holy trinity has seen increasing profits, notably buoyed on the strength of its lowest-end arm, Old Navy.
The Walmarts and Targets of the world are about as far removed from Abercrombie and A.A.’s mystique of sartorial sexiness as you can get. Old Navy’s clothes are cheap, and they carry plenty of plus sizes. Sure, the big chains peddle wares that are by-and-large unglamorous and utilitarian, but they won’t embarrass the bejeebers out of people who aren’t porn stars.
There has likely never been a time in human history when anyone actually needed a $26 “spacescape” T-shirt, but boy, if there were a time we really didn’t need it, that’d be right about now. These just aren’t spacescape aspirational times. Ultimately, if A.A. and Abercrombie sink, it will less likely be the fault of dubious business practices and “improper management” (although they sure don’t help) than the same thing that affects everybody in the world of fashion: plain old changing tastes. There will always be young beautiful people who can get away with ugly tank tops, but, frankly, any company that’s in the “polyester high waist pleated pant” business has likely been on borrowed time from the get-go.
More Related Stories
- My text blew up in my face
- Boy Scouts end ban on openly gay boys
- Mississippi could begin prosecuting women for miscarriages
- Teenage girl claims she was beaten up for looking like Taylor Swift
- Billionaire hedge funder: Babies, breast-feeding "kill" focus, keep women from succeeding
- "Bookless library" set to open in Texas
- Man arrested for sending Craigslist sex party to neighbor's house
- Greek yogurt, toxic waste hazard?
- Glenn Beck: CNN interview with atheist tornado survivor was a setup!
- Incoming BBC news director on journalism gender gap: "We can do better"
- Illegal construction, shoddy materials at fault in Bangladesh factory disaster
- Pope Francis: Atheists are all right!
- Lawsuit alleges anti-gay hiring practices at ExxonMobil
- Boy Scouts poised to vote, still greatly divided on gay youth
- Is recreational pot use safe?
- How I ended up in a pyramid scheme
- My bipolar partner beat me
- Teenagers care more about online privacy than you think
- Radio host tweets rape joke, blames journalists for reporting on it
- El Salvador court delays ruling on abortion case while woman's life hangs in the balance
- Kicked out of the mall -- for an anti-cancer hat
Featured Slide Shows
The week in 10 picsclose X
- 1 of 11
Lisa Montgomery embraces her nephew Thursday after a tornado tore apart her home in Cleburne, Texas. The twister killed six people and destroyed entire swaths of the North Texas town.
Credit: AP/LM Otero
Jack McMahon, the defense attorney for abortion doctor Kermit Gosnell, speaks outside the Criminal Justice Center in Philadelphia Tuesday. His client was convicted of killing three babies in his clinic, and will serve multiple life sentences.
Credit: AP/Matt Rourke
A photo taken Monday captures Vice President Joe Biden's response to a Milwaukee second-grader's innovative proposal to end America's epidemic of gun violence. This guy!
Credit: AP/Jenny Aicher
Sen. Rand Paul, R-Ky., flanked by a grouper-eyed Michele Bachmann, addresses the IRS' admission that it targeted Tea Party groups in advance of the 2012 election. In an op-ed for CNN Thursday, the Kentucky senator slammed the president for his faux outrage.
Credit: AP/Molly Riley
Ousted IRS chief Steven Miller is sworn in on Capitol Hill Friday. Miller testified before the House Ways and Means Committee on the extra scrutiny the agency gave conservative groups applying for tax-exempt status.
Credit: AP/J. Scott Applewhite
Attorney General Eric Holder pauses as he testifies on Capitol Hill before the House Judiciary Committee Wednesday. Holder is under fire, among other things, for the Justice Department's gathering of phone records at the Associated Press.
Credit: AP/Carolyn Kaster
O.J. Simpson sits during an evidentiary hearing at Clark County District Court in Las Vegas, Nev., Thursday. Simpson, who is currently serving a nine-to-33-year sentence in state prison for armed robbery and kidnapping, is using a writ of habeas corpus to seek a new trial.
Credit: AP/Las Vegas Review-Journal/Jeff Scheid
Major Tom to ground control: On Sunday astronaut Chris Hadfield recorded the first music video from space, a cover of David Bowie's "Space Oddity."
Credit: AP/NASA/Chris Hadfield
When it rains it pours. President Barack Obama speaks during a news conference Thursday with Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan, inexplicably inspiring an #umbrellagate Twitter meme.
Credit: AP/Jacquelyn Martin
A smoke plume rises high above a road block at the intersection of County A and Ross Road east of Solon Springs, Wis., Tuesday. No injuries were reported, but the the wildfire caused evacuations across northwestern Wisconsin.
Credit: AP/The Duluth News-Tribune/Clint Austin
Recent Slide Shows
- 1 of 11