American Apparel Hires Former Band of Outsiders Men's Designer

American Apparel - H 2015
AP Images

American Apparel - H 2015

Joseph Pickman joins CEO Paula Schneider in her attempt to revive the ailing brand.

American Apparel has hired former Band of Outsiders men's design director Joseph Pickman to help the struggling brand revive its men's section — specifically to revamp its basics and the stores' merchandising of their men's products.

After a public firing of founder Dov Charney at the end of last year, as well as continually declining sales, the L.A.-based retailer, now headed by CEO Paula Schneider, has been making several changes in an attempt to get back in the green. It has yet to be seen if these changes, including a recent layoff of more than 180 employees and a new approach to the brand's characteristically controversial marketing tactics, can save American Apparel from the nearly $300 million in losses it has accrued over the past five years.

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Pickman, who was with Band of Outsiders for 3 1/2 years before making the move to American Apparel last week, told WWD that, in his new position, he aims to "bring a lot of the aesthetic that I developed at Band of Outsiders — that same spirit — for the new product here,” adding that the perfect fit will be key in rejuvenating the high-quality basics that the company is known for.

Schneider, who also has hired a new senior vp marketing and chief digital officer since her appointment in January, noted that the payoff of these efforts to stabilize the company will be seen in the more "robust" product selection that will be present in American Apparel stores as early as fall.