It’s finally over for American Apparel, the trendy turned-scandal plagued clothing brand whose first store opened in 1997. On Thursday, a bankruptcy court in Delaware approved an $88 million sale of the brand’s intellectual property and manufacturing equipment to Gildan, a Canadian apparel company that focuses on wholesale. Gildan will pay an additional $15 million to acquire American Apparel’s purchase orders and inventory, effectively giving the buyer all the tools it needs to launch a new clothing line from the ruins of the now defunct brand.
Millennials—especially those who identify with the term hipsters—likely remember a time in the early naughts when American Apparel’s snug, expensive T-shirts were emblematic of made-in-America cool. The company’s marketing blended the feel-good altruistic mission of making things in America while its advertising featured over-the-top sex appeal of one of America’s favorite traits: youth.
That all unraveled as reports surfaced about the company’s labor practices, which included employing immigrants with questionable documents and worker complaints to the National Labor Relations Board which were eventually dismissed. Then there was the company’s signature sexy marketing, which became a point of tension when a string of sexual harassment lawsuits were filed against its founder Dov Charney, many of which have been settled (including more than $3 million in court settlements in 2015, according to The Wall Street Journal). As of January 2017, at least one lawsuit was still pending according Los Angeles Superior Court records.