Dov Charney – How He Started American Apparel
Some people are born with the ability to revolutionize their chosen field in life. Others are born with the ability to make a difference to millions of people, whether that is by helping them to feel more confident in themselves or to give them a different option when they choose a product or service. Dov Charney has effectively done both. He is an entrepreneur with an outstanding passion for one specific area of the market, and it is the specific area of fashion. As such, people from all over the world today wear his clothing. Dov Charney is the creator of American Apparel and is undoubtedly a fantastic example of an inspirational entrepreneur.
A Creative Child
Dov Charney was born in Montreal, Canada on January 31, 1969 into an arty family. His mother was an artist and his father an architect, as was his aunt. As such, he was encouraged to express himself from an early age. The budding entrepreneur often invested him time into creating his own art and enjoyed conversing with his parents about it. He also loved both American and Canadian culture while dreaming of uniting the two via his own creativity. However, during the 1980s spurt of Quebec nationalism, Charney found that he could not reconcile a third value, especially one that he did not necessarily agree with, and thus moved to the United States when old enough.
Dov Charney showed off his entrepreneurial skills at a young age by editing his own newspaper at the tender age of 11. Having proved to himself that he could do anything he liked, the entrepreneur chose to start making his own T-shirts. He would regularly move them across the US-Canadian border to his friends in Quebec and sell them for a profit. Seeing a gap in the market that he could fill, Charney continued to do this even after enrolling at Tufts University in South Carolina during 1987. He dropped out after two years there to go into business on a full time basis but soon found himself filing for bankruptcy when it failed to make money.
The American Way
Not to be deterred by his previous failure, Charney moved to Los Angeles and resolved to start again by building from the ground up. Just a year after he filed for bankruptcy, he began designing and manufacturing T-shirts but this time under a new brand called American Apparel. They were simplistic in design and composition but were incredibly well marketed, and soon they were in great demand. They sold in the United States and in Canada. New lines were implemented and the entrepreneur found the company inundated with orders. It was initially a wholesale brand, but 2003 saw it make the transition from that to an active retailer in the marketplace. Three stores (Montreal, New York and Los Angeles) were opened in 2003 and a further 182 have opened since.
The entrepreneur is extremely passionate about fashion and has most definitely found a gap in the market. American Apparel is extremely popular and taps into its audience well. Although it was publicly floated in 2006 and is now known as American Apparel Inc, its relevance in society is unparalleled today. This has not only to do with sales and profits but also the fact that the brand is kept in-house. Charney has been outspoken about using sweatshops and has vowed that American Apparel will never make anything outside of its own premises. He has also advocated creativity, thus giving his employees a chance to express themselves as well as always pays them well. Dov Charney had natural talent and a passion and drive that few others had. Despite a setback, he refused to give up and this is why his brand is still relevant today.