American Apparel's Attempt to Make Over Sexist Reputation Just Backfired
American Apparel is attempting to make over its racy image, but a new casting call has the embattled brand's own models speaking out.
Model Jessie Andrews, who has posed for American Apparel in past campaigns, tweeted a casting call notice she received in an email from modeling agency Photogenics Media: "Real models. Not Instagram hoes or thots," the call read.
For the uninitiated, "thot" is another derogatory word for women that's synonymous with "whore." Andrews slapped back at the casting call, citing it as a perfect example of bullying. "I'm really disappointed in the new [American Apparel] CEO," she tweeted.
Paula Schneider pledged to reform American Apparel's rep when she took over in January, amid slumping sales and a slew of sexual harassment and discrimination lawsuits. The company's brand makeover has been widely reported and comes after years of scandal-plagued headlines, thanks largely to ousted CEO and founder Dov Charney's alleged behavior, including masturbating in front of a journalist from now-defunct Jane magazine.
The casting call suggested that American Apparel would no longer be photographing the amateur models and retail employees who have come to epitomize the company's cheeky print advertisements and billboards, in which sexually suggestive images are paired with modest biographies such as "Meet Alex. She's a recent high school graduate with a Minnesotan farming heritage that goes a couple hundred years back."