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Friday, June 11, 2010

WWDVD? (What Would Diana Vreeland Do?)

I don't work in an office, but a memo of this kind would really brighten up my day.  Another testament to the genius of Diana Vreeland...

These memos were recently discovered (see full post on refinery29) - I wonder if there's more floating around?

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However, these recently leaked American Apparel employee contracts make me feel a bit ill in that 'something-heavy-like-a-stone-in-the-pit-of-my-stomach' kind of way.

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Full post and information on Gawker.  Please read it - it's very interesting.

The first thing that shocks me (apart from the spelling - Dock Martins anyone? And what is 'chique'? Is that really a word?) is not the fact that they tell their employees what to wear.  As a rule, retailers will make their employees wear company stock.

What is odd is that they don't want American Apparel employees wearing some American Apparel clothing because it "wrecks the image American Apparel are trying to portray".  Without being too crude - are you fucking kidding me?

Employees have been weighing in over at Gawker over unfair and slightly weird recruitment policies, which involve taking several photos of employees and encouraging managers to fire current employees who no longer fit the physical profile (this includes eyebrows, nail colour, slightly scary ethnic profiling and having chests too big to carry off crop tops).

This kills me, because I have a totally shallow love for American Apparel clothing.  I own a LOT of AA bits and pieces.  I love the block colours and the mix-and-matchability.  And I loved it in spite of the ridiculous sizing (European 12, US 8 is a size large).  I loved it even though the dollar to euro mark-up was not inconsiderable.  I loved it even though the founder, Dov Charney is apparently just like this...




There's no clothing quite like American Apparel.  But this kind of news just makes me feel like 1) I'm being told I'm not good enough for this stuff because I'm large of chest and 2) the new standards are abhorrent. This ranks a ten on the Abercrombie and Fitch ranking of creepy high-street retailers.

So, this is a serious question.  What would Diana Vreeland do?