American Apparel Expands Orange County Manufacturing Presence

american-apparel.jpgAmerican Apparel, the largest clothing manufacturer in the United States and the proud space-taker of the middle of the OC Weekly's back covers, has signed a 10-year lease on 70,000 square feet of space within the industrial property in Garden Grove shown here, Voit Commercial Brokerage announced today.

The price was undisclosed.

Hey, Vickie Chang, Weekly Trendzilla fashion columnist, tell me about American Apparel.

"I think the clothing itself is pretty decent but Dov Charney and his business practices are not too, you know . . . I'm just saying, not against this guy's pull, it's amazing how this guy opens 30 stores a year now--you're not writing all this down, are you? I'm rambling."

Informed that I was indeed writing everything down now, Chang went on to non-rambling say American Apparel "just had crazy layoffs last month in LA," firing several seamstresses, and has drastically scaled back retail shop openings in 2009. Charney, by the way, would be the almost 40-year-old founder and CEO of American Apparel who has been praised for building the largest clothing brand still manufactured in the United States, being passionate about simple clothing and paying workers a fair wage, advertising itself as "sweatshop free." But Charney has also taken heat for his sexually charged ads (that he often shoots himself), being the subject to five sexual harassment lawsuits and allegedly jerking off in front of a female reporter.

So, in other words, Charney is just like your basic Orange County CEO,  the guy you'd toast highballs with at the Bay Club.

American Apparel had already been leasing 32,000 square feet at 12691 Pala Drive, Garden Grove, but added another 38,000 square feet in renewing their lease. The company will now occupy 80 percent of the plant owned by Kilroy Realty Corporation of Los Angeles.

Given the national economy and the financial woes facing American Apparel, no one sounded more surprised the deal went down than broker Michael Bouma. "This is an exceptional accomplishment under the current economic conditions," said the senior vice president of Voit's Anaheim Metro office, in a press statement, "and speaks to the quality of Kilroy's management, as well as the solidity of American Apparel." 


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