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American Apparel's rise from trendy to ubiquitous has happened relatively quickly. My vision is a kind of America for everyone, like where people could come and go and it really doesn't matter where you make the product, it's about paying a fair wage -- but right now, we have a kind of society with borders, and on one side of the border, people have money and on the other side of the border they don't," he says. The company's name came from a business partner, as Charney describes: It was during my freshman year at Tufts, that my T-shirt company took on the trade name "American Apparel," but I didn't actually come up with the name.
It wasn't even that long ago that the true "I don't believe in 'made in U. I briefly entered into a partnership with Bob Smith, owner of Kellsport Industries one of the authorized Hanes wholesale dealers, and the name "American Apparel" was actually his idea.
The now-defunct culture website Hipster Runoff once made a point of covering American Apparel's every move and gave context to the company's decision, explaining, "The hoodie is often worn by swaggy tweens, emos, pokemones, and cool dads who aren't wearing a cardigan.
He thought I was a little difficult to deal with and months later, he told me he loved me, but things were not going to work out.
I returned the $16,000 he invested to the enterprise several months later, and continued using the trade name.
Although the name and business came from Charney's time at Tufts, American Apparel didn't begin to manufacture its own clothing until 1989, when Charney moved to South Carolina and started commissioning factories in the state.
In these early days, the logo was for "American Heavy Apparel," as can be seen in the picture above of Charney and his early colleagues.
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