Following Gildan Activewear’s acquisition of the American Apparel brand in February, Garry Bell, vice president of corporate marketing and communications at Gildan, commented: “We’re extremely excited about what the opportunity represents. There’s a lot of love for this brand in specific segments of the market.”

The finer details of the brand and its direction are still being discussed behind closed doors, although it has been announced that a number of American Apparel garments will now be manufactured in Gildan’s factories in Central America rather than in the US, which could mean lower prices. “There were other competitors who were offering more price-centric product, and American Apparel, because of its US cost base, was not able to compete,” explained Garry. “So we’re also going to be introducing a collection of products that will completely leverage our manufacturing operation in Central America. It’ll be the same style, same patterns, but in a version that comes to market at a much more economical price point.”

An American Apparel marketing and merchandising office has been opened in Los Angeles, US, with some of the former staff employed, which Garry says will help maintain the look and feel of this unique brand. “They have a long history of fabric innovation,” commented Garry. “They’ve historically had amazingly soft and beautifully flowing fabrics, and that’s one of the reasons why we’re keeping some of the merchandising people: we want to make sure we maintain that.”

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