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In Memoriam: Seven things we’ll always remember about American Apparel

Taya Kenny

Last week we got the big (although not that surprising) news that American Apparel will be shuttering its doors, leaving behind a legacy of almost 30 years and 14 New York locations. (RIP) Over the years, American Apparel had become a staple for its... well, staples! (As well as the raunchy ads that somehow made basic more naughty.)

We all remember a college party or two where our standards for who to talk to began with “who has read the most Sartre” and gradually descended into “who has on the most American Apparel” as the night wore on. AA even made big ripples in pop culture, from Tao Lin’s novella Shoplifting from American Apparel to Kanye’s poignant line "I need more drinks and less lights, And that American Apparel girl in just tights".

But alas, all good things must come to an end, so let’s take a look back at the top seven things we will miss about the brand.

1. Attempting to return glittery tights on November 1st and trying to convince the cashier that you definitely did not use them for last night’s Halloween costume, despite the vaguely cigarette-and-fireball scent that’s coming off them. And the fact that you’re pretty sure the cashier was the person you made out with at the party last night.

2. Mistakenly calling your silvery shorts “lame” instead of “lamé” for years and no one correcting you. Because, you know, it wasn’t exactly wrong.

3. Showing up to a party wearing the exact same low-V bodysuit as your arch nemesis... in the exact same color (It’s like she knows black is your thing).

4. The turtleneck bodysuit. Who wants to pair the classic simplicity of a turtleneck with the discomfort an all-day wedgie? MILLIONS, apparently.

5. That trend circa 2007 where every guy you knew was wearing that really low v-neck t-shirt, exposing some serious chest-hair. Combined with the short-lived gold medallions trend, Wolf Parade concerts looked like a gathering of the Italian mob for a brief period.

6. The American Apparel outlet store. Prices were getting so cheap there, we half expected them to start charging for clothes by the pound. 

7. Seeing everyone’s nipples. All the time. 

Thanks AA for your service, and see you very soon at the nearest Goodwill.


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