American Apparel is at the forefront of my mind at the moment for a few reasons.
Firstly, because I'm living in it's home state. It is everywhere in Los Angeles, and quite rightly so. Only 2% of clothing that Americans purchase is made here in the US, and I'm guessing there are similar statistics in most countries. Production costs in developed countries are sky high, and it makes no sense when you can send the manufacturing responsibilities off to China, and halve your costs.
Secondly, and closely related - one of my subjects at State (Global Marketing Strategy) involved a very big project relating to American Apparel. Hands down one of the most fun and useful projects I've ever had to undertake at uni.
Thirdly, I have made several purchases at AA since being here - black jeans, red scarf, black leggings, purple purse and a couple of bows. I absolutely love each one, and feel strangely happy about paying extra cost when I know it's being made here in California.
American Apparel has gone through serious financial turbulence over the last few years, and Dov Charney, the head of AA, is less than squeaky clean. Allegations of inappropriate behavior on his part have tarnished the company's reputation, and yet he is clearly charming enough to find money every time the company is on the brink of bankruptcy.
Anyway, the ads. Love the branding, the simplicity, the use of Helvetica etc. Simplicity is lacking in the world of fast fashion.
Even better, I love that the ads aren't photoshopped and reflect real people with their imperfections. Taking this further, AA often use real people or employees in their advertisements, with a description of the person. I find this charming and it definitely showcases the product in a realistic light.
AA for the win. I'm kind of a sellout but I'm definitely enjoying myself!