A few months ago, we waxed apocalyptic about what appeared to be American Apparel’s impending financial doom. However, it looked as though AA would slide through, albeit into a more humbled position, as investors offered to loosen some slack and renegotiate loan covenants. Nope.

American Apparel is in deeper doo-doo than ever. The New York Stock Exchange is threatening to delist them and their accountant just quit, saying their numbers might not be reliable. And suffice it to say, a lot is riding on AA keeping those numbers up. In this moment of crisis, AA management has finally come to openly acknowledge the hard truth behind their trouble: “hipster is over.”

Or at least the hipster of the the neon spandex variety – the one that American Apparel created – is over. The quote comes from AA CEO himself, Dov Charney. The company’s denunciation of its aesthetic Frankenstein monster canon will take the form of a transition to prep – that is, more traditional, grown up and fashionably sure-footed items like “blazers, pleated pants, button-down shirts, and more formal lace tops” – which Charney sees as making a comeback.

Bet you never thought you’d see the day that American Apparel goes head to head with J.Crew. Of course, the company intends to maintain its trademark no-frillsness and shameless sex appeal, so we imagine the market it intends to corner is rather still pretty far below and to the left of the likes of Brooks Brothers.

Does American Apparel have the agility to keep pace with its once target demographic as those people start dressing like adults? If so, will this, plus some new management approaches, be enough to raise the company out of its deep deep financial rut? This fall, keep your eye on what will surely be a madly evolving Telegraph Avenue storefront and see.

Image Source: under Creative Commons
American Apparel’s Unhip Finances [Bloomberg Businessweek]
Dov Charney, American Apparel CEO, Declares Hipsterdom “Over” [Village Voice]

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