Being a retail sales associate on Black Friday has enough headaches without adding an embarrassing T-shirt into the the mix. However, according to the Mary Sue, American Apparel asked its employees to wear “Ask Me to Take It All Off” shirts for the holiday. According to an internal email, “All stores will be receiving special button pins [sic] and t-shirts to wear ON Black Friday! Shirts are optional, however, employees are highly encouraged to participate.”
This isn’t exactly the “social commentary” that American Apparel’s new CEO Paula Schneider promised when she took over in March. It sounds far more like the skeevy Dov Charney–led American Apparel of yore. However, it sounds like, come Black Friday, those shirts will be nowhere in evidence.
A rep for the retailer issued the following statement to the site: “This slogan on these tee shirts — which were distributed to both male and female employees as optional — was originally intended to be a play on words to engage customers during our Black Friday Sale, which features an additional 50 percent off items that are already marked down 50 percent. We understand that this offended an individual employee who spoke up about his / her concerns. American Apparel is a company that values free speech, and most importantly, creating an environment where employees feel valued, protected, and safe. As such, we have decided to discontinue this slogan and will seek other ways to stay creative and push the envelope, which is part of our brand DNA.”