American Apparel 'Teenagers Do It Better' Tee: Out Of Line Or Totally Tame?

 

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He is not renowned for his tactful diplomacy. In fact, American Apparel CEO Dov Charney is better known for multiple sexual harassment and racial discrimination allegations involving youngsters.
Now Mr Charney, 42, has excelled, even by his own standards, by launching a new T-shirt that reads 'Teenagers do it better.'
Given his company's reputation for racy ads and a progressive agenda, the $24 T-shirt may not have attracted quite so much attention had it not, by association, been so explicitly glorifying teen sex.



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The slogan tee is a collaboration between the controversial fashion chain and magazine Ey!Magateen - a title that says it 'celebrates the magnificent vitality, energy and power of young male adulthood' by publishing explicit pictures of boys and young men from 16 to 21-years-old.
It is available to buy on the American Apparel site and is being given away as a gift when ordering the 124-page Spring/Summer 2011 of the magazine, according to the Huffington Post.


On Ey!Magateen's Tumblr page, a skinny teenage boy wears a cropped version of the T-shirt, suggestively posing in low-rise underwear.
His photo can be found alongside hundreds of others of nude and semi-nude shots of young boys, often in highly sexualised poses.

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The subject matter of the T-shirt is not all that is inappropriate about the collaboration - it comes hot on the heels of a string of court appearances by Mr Charney.
The notorious fashion bad-boy has variously been accused of walking around the company headquarters without trousers on, using provocative language towards female staff and running a sexually-charged, hostile environment.
He infamously masturbated in front of a reporter while she was interviewing him in 2004, and the unorthodox directorship of the founder has landed American Apparel in very hot water on numerous, and worryingly frequent, occasions.


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In 2008, his company was made to pay $5million to Woody Allen after using a photograph of the director in a billboard advertisement without permission.
In July, Christopher Renfro, from California, was awarded more than $300,000 in damages after alleging that a co-worker repeatedly called him a 'n*****' in 2008. The accused co-worker, who reports directly to Mr Charney, claimed to have been singing along to rap music.
Former employee Irene Morales, 20, also filed a suit in March containing explosive claims that Mr Charney kept her as a teenage sex slave, forcing her to perform sexual acts on him for eight months

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Her claims came just weeks before four more employees filed another lawsuit against Mr Charney. One of them, Kimbra Lo, 19, 'claimed that Mr. Charney, wrapped in a towel, invited her to his bedroom to talk about a job. Once there, she said he undressed her and tried to have sex. Ms. Lo said she sought to resist but was afraid, and that he tried to take photographs,' wrote the New York Times.
At the time of the Ms Morales claims, a Today Show programme featured disturbing insights into Mr Charney's sworn depositions from previous sexual harassment suits, none of which went to trial. He said: 'I frequently drop my pants to show people my new product,' and 'there's some of us that love sluts. It could be also an endearing term.'
In a recent interview with the New York Times, Mr Charney said that he would like to recreate the lifestyle Hugh Hefner famously contrived at the Playboy mansion in the 1970s.

Mr Charney's Silver Lakes, California, home is the centre of an unconventional lifestyle that regularly sees up to a dozen employees and friends staying with the CEO.
Nevertheless, Mr Charney and his legal team have denied all sexual harassment allegations. His lawyer, Peter Schey, said: 'The allegations are false. I think this is an effort to shake down American Apparel.'
The 'shake down' may, however, be happening of its own accord. In March, the company, founded in 1989, warned it may have to file for bankruptcy and could face liquidation.
Making an $86m loss last year, American Apparel's sales dropped by 4.6 per cent, though this has been blamed in part on 'extraordinarily challenging world-wide economic conditions.' Losses have been stemmed after an intervention by British private equity firm, Lion Capital.
In the light of the new eyebrow-raising tee collaboration, the GFC may be the least of Mr Charney's worries for now.








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