In an on-going attempt to re-brand itself following the unflattering era of Dov Charney, American Apparel has added a fresh face to its team: Joseph Pickman.
As the former men’s director for Band of Outsiders, Pickman was selected to revamp American Apparel’s men's department. This marks the latest staff change from newly appointed CEO Paula Schneider. Schneider, who took the reigns in late 2014, has publicly stated she was looking to restructure the brand’s image by moving away from “overtly sexual” content and moving toward an emphasis on quality, domestic production, and social issues.
In February, it was announced that creative directors Iris Alonzo and Marsha Brady were terminated, shortly followed by 180 layoffs, mostly in the manufacturing sect. Schneider also hired a new marketing team to help shed the brand’s racy look, which often resulted in banned ads around the world.
But in addition to toning down the sex factor, it appears American Apparel is now jumping on the menswear trend, putting more emphasis on men’s styles and restructuring them to fit today’s tastes.
"The men's business has been trending down for quite a while and we need to really work on bringing that back up to where it could be because we have the consumer, but the conversions aren't there," Schneider told Racked. "So we're working really hard to update our basics and to also have a better merchandised experience when you walk in [stores]."
Pickman, who worked at Band of Outsiders from 2011 to February of this year, will infuse American Apparel’s aesthetic with styles not too far from Band of Outsiders’. It's a bit of a surprising move, to say the least, and unclear whether it can really help American Apparel re-brand. We’ll just have to wait until fall to see the new team’s efforts.