In the second campaign since their relaunch, AA is back with the LGBT rights collection THEY O.K.
The Pride collection features bright basics including hoodies, ringer t-shirts, shorts and halter tops, metallic bralets and the ubiquitous disco pants that American Apparel was well-known for. The line also features bags and t-shirts bearing the THEY O.K slogan and Still here. Still queer.
American Apparel has long been an advocate for LGBT rights, releasing various LGBT supportive garments including the Legalize Gay! t-shirts, Gay O.K tees for Pride 2012 and Make America Gay Again shirts, totes and hats in response to the Trump presidency.
The THEY O.K campaign features the personal stories of real people about coming out and practicing self-love. All the models shown were cast on Instagram rather than through an agency.
100% of the profits from the capsule collection will go to The Trevor Project, a vital resource that provides crisis intervention and a suicide prevention service to LGBTQ people under 25.
Sabina Weber, Director of Brand Marketing, told Metro.co.uk: Our Pride campaign was lovingly crafted by the LGBTQ+ members of the American Apparel marketing team and it was important for us to create a set of progressive tees and send a powerful message by hiring and compensating LGBTQ+ models (real people found via our open model call).
We hope that people will take the time to see the videos that were created around each of these models and hear their stories via our blog.
Its a positive move, but American Apparel is still emerging from a dark period in the companys history.
In April, the retailer relaunched under new ownership following allegations of sexual misconduct that characterised the Dov Charney era.
Previous CEO Charney was accused of masturbating in front of a young female journalist among other complaints of sexual harassment and impropriety. In 2011, five former employees filed lawsuits against him. He was allegedly well known for walking through the American Apparel factors wearing only his underpants.
American Apparel board members also alleged that Charney retained graphic pictures of himself having sex with employees on the companys computers.
The brand chose to settle with four models who said they had been harassed by Charney out of court, and the board removed him as CEO in 2014. The brand also had a strong financial motive for doing so, as stock options were plummeting under Charney and the company was consistently reporting losses, including $160 million (£12.4 million) in the previous year.
Allegations against Dov Charney led to some consumers boycotting the company entirely.
The brand also faced criticism for its hypersexual advertisements, particularly a back to school campaign featuring a young model in white knickers bending over in a pleated skirt, inviting comparisons to upskirt photos and raising questions about the sexualisation of school-aged girls.
Addressing the brands relaunch, Sabina Weber said: It was a bit nerve wracking to relaunch a brand as prominent as American Apparel with all of its history.
People are absolutely loving the new images – they are still sexy but in a really positive confident way attitude is translating exactly as we had hoped. And they are mainly just happy that their favourite basics are back. We really do fill an important need in everyones closet.
With American Apparel entering a new phase without the influence of Charney, lets hope that the company can now focus on championing its positive principles of equality, LGBT acceptance and sweatshop-free manufacturing.
You can check out the THEY O.K collection here.
THEY O.K Print 50/50 T-Shirt, £22