American Apparel

American Apparel? The same company whose founder had a nasty and boorish proclivity for sexual harassment? The same company whose look is culled from the dungheap of 70s and 80s fashion? The same company whose advertisements are de facto soft core pornography?

Yes, THAT American Apparel.

It’s an unlikely interloper on a blog that puts a premium on the classics. Aesthetically, it’s the antithesis of Ivy, the polar opposite of Prep, the un-Trad.

But, for those of us who worship at the altar of American made goods, it’s hard to ignore a company that has this to say about itself.

We employ more than 5,000 industrial workers in Southern California, all of whom are paid fair wages and have access to affordable healthcare and benefits.

Today, American Apparel is the largest sewing company in North America; it touts itself as sweatshop free, a concern for its employees that is sorely lacking in these days of rampant de-unionization. At a time when much of the U.S. garment industry has emigrated to countries where environmental and worker protections are scant, this means something.

When Frannie was home last month, we stopped in American Apparel’s Houston store. Amid all the porn-star-cum-hipster clothes, we found a pair of white canvas tennis shoes, wonderfully reminiscent of the classic made-in-the-USA Keds. Since her white tennis shoes were on their proverbial last legs, we picked her up a pair.

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