American Apparel C.E.O. Dov Charney was named Retailer of the Year at 15th Annual Michael Awards, a fashion industry ceremony held at New York City’s Marriott Marquis Hotel.
Often referred to as the “Oscars of Fashion,” the award honors the fashion industry’s brightest stars. Calvin Klein, Oscar de la Renta and Hugo Boss comprise a partial list of past winners.
“I am privileged to accept this award in recognition of the hard work and creativity of the many people who have contributed to American Apparel’s rapid growth and success,” said Charney upon receiving the award, according to PR Newswire. “For years I have said that it is possible to manufacture clothing in the United States, pay among the best wages in the apparel industry, and still have a profitable business.”
Labor rights activists have lauded American Apparel in the past for the company’s labor practices. All of the company’s apparel is made at an 800,000 square-foot location in downtown Los Angeles, the nation’s largest garment factory.
Charney pays his workers almost twice the California minimum wage and offers health insurance for $8 a week, both rarities on the bottom rung of the U.S. labor market. Additionally, American Apparel offers workers free English lessons and provides well-lighted and well-ventilated working areas, conditions that have won Charney praise among labor rights groups.
“In a surprisingly short period of time, American Apparel has distinguished itself as a truly unique and exciting retail brand in the global market,” said Steve Shor, president of the Michael Awards. “American Apparel’s Made in USA clothing, together with the company’s progressive business practices and provocative advertising campaigns, have set the company apart as a fascinating story in the fashion world.”