American Apparel’s new CEO is ready to lead the brand

Paula Schneider wants to tell the brand’s story in a not offensive way, show less skin and empower women.


Text: Katerina Miha


After the discontinuation of the CEO Dov Charney, American Apparel has now the opportunity to change the negative image of the brand, that his strategic choices had led to. In December, Paula Schneider was officially hired and named as the chief executive officer of the company. Schneider is a woman with a strong background who seems ready to make the right decisions in order to correct the company’s past strategy mistakes.

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Back to School/ Fall 2014.

Talking about a brand that is best known for its provocative advertisements, Schneider’s idea to highlight other strengths of the brand sounds reasonable. A very important fact for the company is that it is the biggest manufacturer in North America and this is something that nobody knows. Moreover, the company has products which are made in America and the factory workers are well paid,these is two aspects of the company that are not emphasized to the consumers as much as they should.

According to Schneider’s reports, the spring’s marketing campaign is going to highlight the 100 styles at American Apparel and remind to the customers items such as the solid-color cotton knitwear and the short black skirt, which are some of the basic products that the brand sells. The new CEO also plans to pay more attention to the target

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group of women and mothers who are aged 30 and above. The company has already the advantage of being successful to the millennial generation customers and surely has the potential to become more popular to the generation X consumers if they find the right way to approach them.

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The YouTube video that the company created for Valentine’s Day, called Pantytime and has again a provocative character but this time shown in a way that we have never seen before.

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In the 1 minute and 30 seconds, we see different personalities dancing wearing panties and have fun. However, what differentiate this year’s video are the people who are starring. Guys, girls, grandmothers, guys dressed like girls and girls who are actually guys are wearing their panties and are rocking it. As Schneider stated, the marketing of the brand will focus on social issues such as anti- bullying and gay rights. So far the viewers’ comments are very positive, actually they are glad that they do not have to watch teenage girls trying to look sexy as in 2010 Pantytime video.

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American Apparel definitely needed a new face with fresh ideas and an effective strategic plan and Schneider seems to be this person. She has the skills and possibly the solutions to make the brand cover up. The biggest challenge for her is to accomplish this without destroying the brand’s provocative and sexy identity.