Dov Charney Answers Our Questions on Hiring, Gawker and Why Larger Sizes Seem to be Disappearing at American Apparel

When we read Gawker’s recap of American Apparel’s head to toe hiring policy, we thought that checking out someone’s body from top to bottom rather than their resume was a cringe worthy way to do business. Not to mention unprofessional, even if not illegal.

While he defends the practice of using photos as part of store hiring decisions, Dov Charney insists that American Apparel isn’t checking out anything more than they should (personal style and presentation) when it comes to photo submissions. And you know – he’s believable, even if we don’t agree with the practice 100%.

Nearly all jobs – particularly retail, have uniforms or appearance standards. And while demeanor, experience and other qualities might be bigger concerns if you were responsible for hiring someone, the fact is that style matters. That’s not to say that the policy isn’t extremely superficial – it is. But Charney challenges, if you’re running a business based on appearances, shouldn’t the superficial things play a role?

For more than an hour, we spoke with the American Apparel CEO about the photo based hiring process, Gawker’s coverage of the matter, the company’s attitude towards plus sized shoppers, why those down sales numbers are overblown  and the trouble in trying to pin down bon goût (good taste, in French).

On Hiring Based on Appearances

The Fine Line Between Judgment and Targeting

The Business Effects

What About Those “Off Brand” Customers?

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