crimes of fashion

American Apparel’s Battle Against Fuglies Wages On …

We learned yesterday about the “head-to-toe” screening process for job candidates at American Apparel, and now several other employees have come forward with less-than-flattering stories about the company’s discriminatory policies against unattractive — er, “off-brand” — people.

Today, Gawker got its mitts on additional memos from American Apparel’s intranet that provided explicit instructions on photographing potential new employees. In addition to a full-body shot, recruiters were told to “include a close-up of face,” and extra precautions were to be taken if the photos were snapped outdoors, since it’s hard to tell how hot — er, “on-brand” — people are when they’re layered up with coats and jackets.

Outdoor scouting: In cases where the candidate is wearing a hat that is covering all their hair, please ask subjects to remove their hat, so we have a better feeling for their presentation. We need to clearly see everyone’s hair, color, length, and style. It plays a big role in how they look.

The company has been picky these days because it’s trying to head in a more “sophisticated, expensive, classy direction” — a shift in image that the store publicized as the “New Standard.” Said standard is explained thusly: “Classy-Vintage-Chique-Late 80’s-Early 90’s-Ralph Lauren-Vogue-Nautical-High end brand [sic].” Apparently that may have been confusing to employees as well, because the memo then listed what not to wear, including Uggs, Vans, Moccasins, Converse sneakers, and Keds (unless they’re white and “impeccably clean”).

Most workplaces have dress codes, so that’s, like, whatever. What is unacceptable, however, is how it was supposedly enforced:

Not only did they police our clothes but our eyebrows, makeup, nails and hair color. They also openly mocked employees by posting photos of them online. Our store consultant also on several occasions told girls to lose weight or told them they were “too top heavy for crop tops.”

Undoubtedly, employees’ negative accounts will keep coming; the real question is, will this keep customers away? [Gawker]

American Apparel’s Battle Against Fuglies Wages On …