Northwestern University and Evanston's Only Daily News Source Since 1881

The Daily Northwestern

Northwestern University and Evanston's Only Daily News Source Since 1881

The Daily Northwestern

Northwestern University and Evanston's Only Daily News Source Since 1881

The Daily Northwestern

Email Newsletter

Sign up to receive our email newsletter in your inbox.


Lacrosse: Northwestern’s Izzy Scane wins 2024 Honda Sport Award
District 65 School Board votes to close Dr. Bessie Rhodes School
Kathryn Hahn declares class of 2024 “worthy of celebration” in commencement address
Pro-Palestinian graduates walk out of 2024 Commencement Ceremony in solidarity with Gaza
‘Wildcats should have wild dreams:’ Nikki Okrah delivers optimistic 2024 Weinberg Convocation address
The Daily Explains: Contextualizing the Evanston reparations lawsuit
NU announces plans to prevent disruptions at commencement
Perry: A little humility goes a long way

Brew, Hou, Leung, Pandey: On being scared to tweet and the pressure to market yourself as a student journalist

June 4, 2024

Haner: A love letter to the multimedia room

June 4, 2024

Lacrosse: Northwestern’s Izzy Scane wins 2024 Honda Sport Award

Lacrosse: Northwestern’s Izzy Scane wins 2024 Tewaaraton Award

May 30, 2024

Lacrosse: No. 1 Northwestern falls 14-13 to No. 2 Boston College in national championship battle

May 26, 2024

Campus Kitchens fills plates and hearts

Why Club Sports at Northwestern?

NU Declassified: Prof. Barbara Butts teaches leadership through stage management

Everything Evanston: Behind the boba in downtown Evanston

New clothing store highlights benefits

No logos, no sweatshops, no outsourcing.

American Apparel, a company that sells a fitted, all-cotton clothing line, opens its third location in the Chicago area Feb. 7. The store, at 950 Church St., will fill the spot vacated by Corner Bakery in May.

“The vision is about young adults,” said company founder Dov Charney.

Evanston, he said, “fits the photo.”

American Apparel chose to open a store in downtown Evanston because of Northwestern’s proximity and because of the “feel” of the town, Charney said. The store will carry the same clothes as all other American Apparel stores, but its decor and architecture were designed with the location in mind.

With 40 new stores in 2004 and plans to open more this year, American Apparel has come far since its humble start.

Charney first developed the idea for logo-free apparel when he started importing blank shirts to Montreal and selling them to friends who wanted to print on them for concerts.

As the brand’s reputation grew, Charney developed a set of innovative policies.

American Apparel makes all of its products in a Los Angeles factory. The company pays factory workers an average wage of about $13 an hour, almost double California’s minimum wage. Employees also receive $8 a week in medical insurance and paid time off.

“There’s been an outsourcing movement,” he said. “This is a reversal.”

But Charney said despite the company’s employment practices, American Apparel’s motives revolve around quality more than philanthropy.

“The more you pay people the better they work,” Charney said.

He added that the company enjoys better quality control and faster turnaround by creating its own products.

And more control means a better fit, he said. But he warned that the clothes may work better for young people than baby boomers.

“It’s manufactured for young adults,” he said. “It’s a little smaller, more fitted.”

American Apparel’s racy advertising, which includes models wearing T-shirts without bras and close-ups of underwear-clad crotches, remains controversial.

But Charney said the ads reflect the American Apparel lifestyle.

“This is a company run by young adults for young adults,” he said. “We’re committed to making garments that people love to wear and people love to make.”

The line focuses on people’s need for the basics. With a low rotation of products, the company hopes customers will still find favorite products months after their first purchase. While T-shirts in a variety of colors and cuts remain one of the company’s best sellers, products range from underwear to skirts to men’s jackets.

Officials at Urban Outfitters, 921 Church St., declined to comment on the opening, and officials at the corporate offices did not return phone calls. American Apparel will be across the street from Urban Outfitters.

Some students say they are looking forward to the new store’s arrival in Evanston.

Communication senior Abby Dallett said she likes the idea of having an occasional alternative to Urban Outfitters.

“There aren’t many stores in Evanston that you can walk to from Northwestern,” Dallett said. “With the outsourcing going on, it’s great to have things made here — Americans buying American stuff.”

Reach Elizabeth Gibson at [email protected].

More to Discover
Activate Search
Northwestern University and Evanston's Only Daily News Source Since 1881
New clothing store highlights benefits