AA on Black Girls | Nice Hair Only

A former American Apparel employee submitted internal documents to Gawker.com exposing American Apparel's hiring criteria for store employees. I must admit, I wasn't shocked by most of the information having worked in retail and sales for most of my career. I understand marketing and how the impression of the employee can make or break a sale. BUT, when I got to the part about the "trashy black girl" with "straight hair", the hair stood up on my neck. Here's an excerpt:

"none of the trashy kind that come in, we don't want that. we're not trying to sell our clothes to them. try to find some of these classy black girls, with nice hair, you know?"

i will remember that forever, especially the "nice hair" part. he was instructing another manager and i on who to look for during an upcoming open call, and i sat there dumbfounded, listening to him speak while the other manager made "uh huh, got it" sounds on her end of the phone. the other manager on the call with me later became a district manager, and at one point instructed me to tell two of my employees (both of whom happened to be black females) to stop straightening their hair. i refused to do this, but wondered if the mentality behind her request was related to what dov had said."
My daughter, who is an aspiring clothing designer and avid American Apparel shopper just placed a wholesale order from American Apparel for her first round of screen printed T-shirts. If I would have known this prior to placing the order, we probably would have gone with another supplier since my daughter and her customers buying their shirts would probably be lumped into their "trashy black girl category". (shaking my head). Read more at Gawker.com
3 Responses:

Thanks for sharing this incredible news. I'm so distraught how ignorant the upper management of this organization is and I hope everyone stop shopping at this store after reading this shocking story.

I actually find this really interesting because the general complaint is that people don't recognize that black hair can be nice without being straight. This is the reverse. Makes me wonder what IS nice hair to them.

sad, sad, sad, my daughter loves shopping there, I will definitely send her this story. They are out of control, since when are "black girls" trashy if they have "straight hair"

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