Bankruptcy predicted

A tight situation: Is American Apparel on its last leg?

A tight situation: Is American Apparel on its last leg?

Places-Shopping-American Apparel-model
Courtesy of American Apparel

When I needed to buy some pink tights to wear with my Bad Pants outfit last week, all the students at the Houston Community College fashion design program told me there was only one place to go: American Apparel.

Sure 'nuf, the colorful Montrose store was filled with tights in all shades, along with hip leggings, trim shirts, bold T's, skinny jeans, all sorts of varieties of underwear and other trendy clothing tailored for the urban shopper. 

So I was saddened to learn this week that the chain may be on its last legs.

The company known for its "Made in America" label and its flaky founder and CEO Dov Charney, who was once accused of sexual harassment after running around the office in his underwear — "I frequently drop my pants to show people my new product," he explained in a deposition — is in severe financial straits.

The government is investigating it for shady accounting practices, the Security and Exchange Commission is threatening to de-list it from the stock exchange and it owes $91 million to creditors.

Unless something changes quickly the next step may be bankruptcy and deep retrenchment, with some store closings and layoffs.

Should that happen, shopping on lower Westheimer just won't be the same.

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