American Apparel Supports West African Artisans

Fifty percent of sales from newly launched t-shirt collection to benefit artisans in Sierra Leone

LOS ANGELES, Dec. 16, 2015 American Apparel, Inc., (“the Company”), the U.S. manufacturer, distributor, and retailer of fashion-basic apparel, today announces that it has collaborated with West African artisans for the creation of a limited edition t-shirt collection.

American ApparelThe collaboration began when Massah KaiKai, a young, New York-based creative, pitched the idea to American Apparel. Haunted by a decade-long civil war and the Ebola virus, KaiKai sought to capture a more expressive, intimate portrayal of her family’s homeland through a creative partnership with the Company.

Within months, thousands of American Apparel t-shirts were shipped to Sierra Leone, a group of local artisans were recruited, and a limited edition collection of t-shirts was created. Beginning December 15th, in-store and online shoppers can purchase t-shirts tie-dyed by artisans in the region. Although the array of styles in this collection is similar, each shirt’s tie-dye design is completely unique.

The shirts will be available at 50 U.S. American Apparel locations as well its global online store, via the following link: Fifty percent of the sales proceeds from this collection will be donated to the artisans who dedicated their time and talent to its design.

“Sierra Leone has faced some obstacles, but it’s such a vibrant country where opportunity is possible for people with ideas and passion,” KaiKai said. “I hope Sierra Leoneans are inspired by what we’ve done in partnership with American Apparel to showcase this talented community.”

“American Apparel has always been a strong advocate for fair wages. Hopefully this project will be one small step toward paving the way for a world filled with equal opportunity,” said Jon Henry Szymanski, Director of Co-Branding and Philanthropy at American Apparel.

The Company also wishes to express special thanks to Brussels Airlines, who helped with the shipment of thousands of t-shirts to and from Sierra Leone. American Apparel also extends its gratitude to One Family People, a human rights organization whose purpose is to break the social and professional barriers that the women of Sierra Leone face, providing acceptance and jobs in their communities.

About American Apparel

American Apparel, Inc. (the “Company,”) is a manufacturer, distributor, and retailer of fashion-basic apparel based in downtown Los Angeles, California. As of October 19, 2015, the Company had approximately 8,700 employees and operated approximately 230 retail stores worldwide, including in the United States and Canada. The Company also operates a global e-commerce site that serves over 50 countries worldwide at In addition, the Company operates a leading wholesale business that supplies high-quality T-shirts and other casual wear to distributors and screen printers.