American Apparel
2.9 of 5 206 reviews
www.americanapparel.net Los Angeles, CA 5000+ Employees

American Apparel Reviews

Updated Mar 12, 2014
All Employees Current Employees Only

2.9 206 reviews

                             

31% Approve of the CEO

American Apparel Chairman, President, and CEO Dov Charney

Dov Charney

(131 ratings)

44% of employees recommend this company to a friend
29 Employee Reviews Back to all reviews
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horrible

Sales Associate (Former Employee)
Miami Beach, FL

I worked at American Apparel part-time for less than a year

Prosdiscount
fun environment
$9 hourly for starters

Conslong hours
had to pay parking $10 daily

Advice to Senior Managementimprove working hours

No, I would not recommend this company to a friend – I'm not optimistic about the outlook for this company

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Corporate is Horrible

Production Analyst (Current Employee)
Los Angeles, CA

I have been working at American Apparel full-time for more than 3 years

ProsCheap clothes, some nice people.

ConsUnfair work environment and job promotions, cheaper salaries than the competition, constant harassment from the CEO and certain managers.

Advice to Senior ManagementGet rid of Dov.

No, I would not recommend this company to a friend – I'm not optimistic about the outlook for this company

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Things that would not fly in a real professional environment fly here

Backstock Associate (Current Employee)

I have been working at American Apparel part-time for more than a year

Pros* Greater measure of independence than working on the floor
* Flexible schedule, which is very great for students or those actively looking for another job and need such flexibility so they can apply elsewhere

Cons* You are NOT paid a live-able wage AT ALL
* Even when repeatedly stating your open availability, you still get scheduled for crazy low hours
* Management can be incompetent, often lazy and are not removed
* Have to deal with backwards directives from corporate that are often in conflict with best practices in real time

Advice to Senior ManagementTeach the sales floor staff actual selling techniques and maybe breaking goal won't be such a rare occurrence. Hold store management accountable for their work ethic. Management should never say "That's not my job."

No, I would not recommend this company to a friend – I'm not optimistic about the outlook for this company

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Incompetent managers who set the wrong tone for the store.

Visual Merchandiser (Former Employee)
San Francisco, CA

I worked at American Apparel part-time for less than a year

ProsVery chill atmosphere.
Colleagues are pretty cool for the most part, others are young, immature, uneducated, or all three.
Hours are set depending on your availability.
Discount of 50 percent on their clothing.

ConsTraining is extremely lacking. Managers were "too busy" to train people all the time! So at times we had multiple employees not knowing how to do their jobs, but were told to do them.
Managers and employees talk to much smack about one another all the time.
The pay is okay for a part time job, however there is really no long term growth opportunities.
If you do get promoted, you are required to do so much more for such little raise (one or two dollars).
Clothing is completely overpriced for what it is.
Clothes prices are constantly being priced up for some reason.
The sizes only fit up to size 8. They just don't make clothes bigger than that!
Hire based on looks.
Very focused on making money. No focus on company culture or customers.
Inventory is very tedious. They use multiple programs for the same thing, it would help if they simplify the process.

Advice to Senior ManagementProper training is much needed. Managers also need to realize they set the tone for the whole store and that they need to act in a professional manner to set a good example for the rest of the employees. Hire standards of professionalism need to be set.

No, I would not recommend this company to a friend – I'm not optimistic about the outlook for this company

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Worst Corporate Environment, Terrible CEO

IT (Former Employee)
Los Angeles, CA

I worked at American Apparel full-time for more than a year

ProsThe factory production is kind of cool, but that's just from a viewer's perspective during the tour, no idea if that operation is as disastrous as the corporate culture.

15 min chair massages every other week

ConsWhere does one begin to list all of the grievances caused by working for American Apparel HQ? Let's start from the top, because that's where the mind blowing unprofessional disfunction and mess trickle... er, mud slides down from.

I've witnessed a lot of people get verbally accosted by the CEO. The nasty verbal abuse is a bit of a joke. You can't take that sort of nonsense seriously from a character like him, but why bother sitting through the degradation? Most people aptly leave. The turnover rate is insanely high and mass employee exodus seems cyclical. Can't really verify that though because I hadn't met anyone that worked in corporate longer than 3 years.

Workflow felt very fractured because there just aren't enough people who stay long enough to maintain anything long term. Accountability was stretched really thin because it was easy to pass the blame to someone who didn't work there any longer and then not be responsible yourself because you're outtie in a matter of time too.

There were some sheepish camaraderie within teams trying to survive the circus together. But there was little cooperation between different departments. Different departments were pitted against each other in an ineffective effort to keep each other in check. Resources that could and should have been shared for the better of the entire company were held proprietary per department and it took a lot of unnecessary politics to extract simple information. On the same token, attempts to share resources were often resisted because people are a) overworked already and don't want to learn anything new b) not planning on staying so it's pointless c) just complacent grumps because the company fosters this type of attitude.

Don't expect any vacation. HR does not manage time off procedures. It is up to the discretion of the supervisor, meaning nobody officially recorded vacation accrual. While I was told I'll have unlimited vacation/sick time, it became quickly apparent to me that people still worked remotely on their time off, like full time the whole time! There was always a threat of losing one's job if they didn't get things done while they were out. Most of the time the work was not imperative or time sensitive, but the CEO would throw a tantrum because he resented anyone who took a holiday on his dime. I personally did not stay long enough to warrant a week off yet, but when I left, I knew I wasn't getting compensated for the unused time off (should have earned about 2 weeks if it were a normal company). At that point, I didn't care, I just wanted to get out of there. Oh yeah, the health insurance package they offer is weak, and no 401k.

It was an interesting experience filled with stories that leave my yuppie friends gasping and garners tons of sympathy. But those aren't reasons to intentionally put yourself in that situation. Beware.

No, I would not recommend this company to a friend – I'm not optimistic about the outlook for this company

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If you loved high school, then this is for you.

Sales Associate (Former Employee)
Miami Beach, FL

I worked at American Apparel full-time for less than a year

ProsHow to get hired: Walk into the store you wish to get hired at and take a very close look at how the employees at the counter dress. OR open americanapparel.com and dress very closely to what the models in the photoshoots (not product photos) are wearing. Hair needs to be relaxed with no hairproducts and the most makeup you can wear is shiny lipgloss. Fill out your resume of why Dov Charney is a genius and why you want to help his vision succeed (look up his interviews on youtube and read his wikipedia page).

How to succeed in the company: Differentiate between the newbie employees and the tenure employees. Tenure employees will be supervisors/key holders or any employee who has the privilege of using the cash register. Befriend tenure employees the same way you would try to befriend the most popular people in highschool. You *must* wear AA clothes, so if you don't have any for the first week, wear clothes that doesnt look any different. Study the website enough that you know the names of all the products: "Riding pants", "Secretary blouse", "sparkle over-the-knee sock". Love the product and the style.

ConsIf you're not as cool as the cashiers, you will be placed in the Leggings section in the back, the dressing room, the boring parts of the store. You will walk in your first day and they will place you in a section. Take a good look at the hangers and learn the different kinds, because each product has a specific way of hanging off it's appropriate hanger, so if you don't know this and you get thrown into the dressing room, you'll be lost. If you get placed in a boring section, just walk around making sure there is an even space between all hangers on the rack and everything looks perfect; Make sure you get good at this because this is what you will be doing all day when no one is in the store.

This job is not for someone who wants or needs to make money, because you are always expected to wear the most fashionable items the store has to offer, and even though you get them 50% off, the pay isnt very good to begin with. You end up spending all your money on the clothes.

Advice to Senior ManagementBe more open to advice

No, I would not recommend this company to a friend

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Most uncomftorable job i have ever had

Administrative Assistant (Former Employee)
Los Angeles, CA

I worked at American Apparel full-time for less than a year

ProsVery casual dress code and extra allowance for clothes

ConsWork holidays, sexual harassment, unprofessional supervisors

Advice to Senior ManagementDon't sexually harass your employees.

No, I would not recommend this company to a friend – I'm not optimistic about the outlook for this company

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The Most Unprofessional Retail Establishment In History

Key Holder (Former Employee)
Wellington, FL

I worked at American Apparel part-time for less than a year

ProsFree clothes, sometimes you can get a lot of overtime pay, you're allowed to date your co-workers (though this often turns out to be a con), there's no pressure to sell or provide good customer service so if a customer is being rude you can be rude back to them and no one will care, the only way to get fired is to get caught: stealing, doing drugs, sleeping on the clock or letting people who don't work there into the back room but i've also seen management turn a blind eye to all of those things.

ConsManagement is too immature and underqualified, HR is a joke, employees are promised promotions that never happen, other employees will smoke weed and blow coke on the clock and you have to deal with them being annoying and pick up their slack, if you try to take the job seriously and actually perform well your efforts will be ignored and you will end up frustrated, all of the good employees end up quitting and the ones who work there for a long time are low-lives with no education that can't get a job anywhere else so those losers are the ones that eventually end up getting promoted... absolutely ridiculous.

Advice to Senior ManagementThis company is in need of a major cleanup staff-wise. Try hiring store managers with degrees and start drug testing everyone. Watch what a dramatic difference that would make.

No, I would not recommend this company to a friend

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RUN!

Store Manager (Current Employee)
Philadelphia, PA

I have been working at American Apparel full-time for less than a year

Prosdiscount
flexible schedule
free items sometimes
viva radio

Conslong hours
managed by children
crazy ceo
tedious work
slow seasons
too many emails
not enough pay

Advice to Senior ManagementHIRE ADULTS!

No, I would not recommend this company to a friend – I'm not optimistic about the outlook for this company

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Dismal

Sales Associate (Former Employee)
New York, NY

I worked at American Apparel part-time for less than a year

Pros-Clothing allowances were useful, as the clothes were terribly expensive.

Cons-Managers were often rude, and unprofessional. I can recall several occasions where I felt as if I was being spoken to as a subordinate rather than a paid employee, and a contributing member of staff. On one occasion, after the store had already closed, a coworker and I were chatting as we tried to fix the intimates section of the store and we were actually told to be quiet, as if we were in kindergarten. We continued to speak, and again, we were asked to be quiet as if, somehow, our speaking served as an impediment to our skills with plastic hangers.
-Plain racist management/staff. I can also recall several occasions where I was asked to monitor customers of a slightly darker persuasion. I remember one young lady being quite offended at having been asked to keep her bags outside of the fitting room...this was not one of our policies. She left quite disturbed at the way she had been treated by my manager on duty. She had only come in to get a second opinion on an outfit she purchased for a party, and was extremely hurt by the implication that she was there to shoplift.
-Staff was often reprimanded for absolute nonsense. "Door greeter" is not supposed to leave their post, yet they are responsible for the front part of the store. Still required to yell "Hello" from wherever they are standing and point out promotional sales. You get in trouble if you leave the door, yet you also get in trouble for the front part of the store looking like a tornado passed through it. Logic? Where is it?

Advice to Senior ManagementTreat your employees with respect, and keep your personal grievances with them or whatever is going on in your life, out of the workplace. It is counter productive, and highly unprofessional.

No, I would not recommend this company to a friend – I'm not optimistic about the outlook for this company

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Glassdoor is your free inside look at American Apparel reviews and ratings — including employee satisfaction and approval rating for American Apparel CEO Dov Charney. All 29 reviews posted anonymously by American Apparel employees.