American Apparel Tel Aviv

Welcome Home AA
With little fanfare and hooplah, American Apparel has opened its newest store in Tel Aviv. Located in Dizengof center, the store has been open since Sunday and according to staff has been doing boffo box office. Dan Abenaim, an employee from Montreal charged with AA’s expansion into Israel says that they are hoping to open 3 more stores in the very near future, including one in Jerusalem. American Apparel boss ‘s uncle is world-famous architect Moshe Safdie, a man whose imprint on the city is rivaled only by King Herod – consequently, a Jerusalem store would be particularly appropriate.

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American Apparel’s Dan Abenaim scouting for new locations in Jerusalem.
American Apparel has been expanding like mad lately. There are already over 100 stores in 25 states and 13 countries and Charney plans on adding at least another 50 stores within the next year. American Apparel is now the largest clothing manufacturer in the US, specializing in form fitting, unbranded, soft cotton apparel for men, women, children and dogs. As one article states:

Although the company primarily sells unadorned wardrobe staples, what sets the company apart is its vertically integrated, socially conscious approach to clothing manufacturing — and the fact that everything is made in the United States, in the company’s Los Angeles factory.

American Apparel’s manufacturing ethos can help assuage consumer’s guilt about buying apparel manufactured in 3rd world sweatshops, but the facts clearly demonstrate that it makes great business sense. Will this resonate with Israeli consumers? I asked Yoram who was shopping at the Tel Aviv store with a friend, what he thought:

I love the colors and the clothes are sexy. I am sick and tired of all the stupid ugly clothes made by Fox and Castro. They want me to pay 50 shekels for a shirt that says Fox? They should pay me to advertise for them!

Well, behatzlachah American Apparel. Welcome home! Please be successful and instill a new design esthetic in Israel – please no more t-shirts with idiotic, non-sensical or totally inappropriate messages. Like that guy at the shuk with the ever so clever “5uck My d1ck” t-shirt. He’d look so much better in the M434 Melange Jersey Short Sleeve Gym T-Shirt – might I suggest it in a whimsical two tone eggplant? And when it gets chilly at the shuk he ought to top off the shirt with the Jewlicious Israel approved 5455 California Fleece Track Jacket. I have it in a subdued black but shuk dude might want to try a daring raspberry, Michael’s fave.

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About the author

ck

Founder and Publisher of Jewlicious, David Abitbol lives in Jerusalem with his wife, newborn daughter and toddler son. Blogging as "ck" he's been blocked on twitter by the right and the left, so he's doing something right.

32 Comments

  • One just opened near me, and while I am impressed with the concept, I was not impressed with the clothes or the cut.

  • Wow…wow. Israel REALLY has become like other nations. Full of smut and expensive t-shirts. I walked by an AA store in Toronto. They had a HUGE photo of a woman, in a very sexually suggestive pose, plastered across their wall. I don’t think it would be off base to suggest that they made her out to look like an adolescent. Ah yes…attracting men into a store via the ol’ (you wanna have sex with a 14 yr old don’t ya?) trick.

    Sometimes I wonder what we’re fighting for in the ME.

  • um… shtreimel, have you ever walked down Sheinkin before? The Ramat Aviv mall? American Apparel is hardly a pioneer in the “smut”/expensive t-shirt market in Israel. And anyway, while I personally am not inclined to spend 20 dollars on a single, plain t-shirt, I’ve seen SO much worse. If you want ugly clothes and a generally puritanical atmosphere, might I suggest Bnei Brak?

  • Ofri,
    AA is touted on this site as something to be proud of…why? Perhaps my indignation should be aimed at some of the editors of this blog and not Israel…a nation like all other nations. Sigh.

    “a generally puritanical atmosphere”
    You say this like it’s a bad thing. There’s so little of it anymore, it’s incredible tzniut is still taken seriously at all anymore.

  • Yeah. Geez. It’s too bad we can’t all live in a strictly gender-segregated environment where even the mention of sex is taboo. Because, of course, societies like that are totally normal and healthy and you never find things in them like rape, spousal abuse, extreme sexual deviancy, unhealthy fetishization of sex and the cream of their youth spending their time in Internet cafes looking up porn and American movies. If it wasn’t for those sinister sweatshop-free clothing companies and their sexy ads, we could all go back to a world of purity, holiness, Levirate marriage and the ability to buy sex slaves wives with camels.

  • shtreimel, i find your taking offense to the picture a little silly. it’s ok that every time there’s a pigua you see bloody, shock/grief-stricken people standing amidst severed limbs against the backdrop of the shell of a bus or restaurant or whatever (being exlpoited in my opinion but that’s a whole other rant), but the image of a beautiful woman or man in all or part of her/his naked glory is profane. that’s pretty twisted. as for tzniut, i fully respect the choice of any woman to conduct herself as she sees fit, including wearing really uncomfortably hot clothes in the summer, and i expect the same respect in return. you, as far as i’m concerned, can conduct yourself any way you see fit as well, but i don’t think it’s for you to decide what’s appropriate for everyone else. i was only half-kidding about bnei brak. if it disturbs you to see other people celebrating sex and the body, there are places to go to avoid that kind of exposure. afghanistan is another option. and the reason i think AA is celebrated is because of the business ethic, not the hot models. but hot models can’t hurt.

  • I visited the AA store in TA today. FUN! For all of you worried that AA will be the straw that will break the puritanical camel’s back – well, AA’s store is right beside the Sex Shop on King George St.

  • I’ll take it one step further, TM…

    EVERYBODY knows that vibrators are much more likely to bring about the downfall of society than, say, corruption and greed.

  • … I’m surprised that (a) they’re not here already, and (b) that they picked this location. Dizengoff Center? This is one of the most poorly-focused malls in Israel, in one of the oldest, most cramped physical buildings.

  • Ben-David: Interestingly enough, they blocked off access to the store from the Mall. You can only get in from the street. AA generally avoids malls like the plague.

    Shtreimel: I stand by our friendship with American Apparel. Dov Charney runs a business the way a business ought to be run. He manufactures in the US and pays his sewers living wages. His staff generally seem to love going to work. Cripes, he has a full time bike mechanic on staff to do maintenance on the bikes he gives away to employees who want to commute to work that way. His continued success is a spit in the eye of other manufacturers who feel they can only succeed by unduly exploiting labor.

    And then we have the ads. I think we’ve become so used to the ubber photoshopped models we see in glossy magazines that we think of them as women when many are only between 14-17 years old. Conversely, the AA models, who appear with no makeup on and whose photos are totally unretouched appear to our fucked up eyes, as if they are 14 when in fact most are over 25. Welcome to the real world shtreimel – this is what real women look like. Hardly any AA models could ever have a real modelling carreer. Some are too short, others too heavy or too old. Yet they can still be sexy! Besides, I don’t think male pedophiles are an important market segment that regularly shop at AA, even in Toronto.

    So in conclusion, we’re glad to see AA invest in Israel. More companies ought to follow their lead.

    • Oh It was your birthday, well Happy Birthday John.I watend to ask you a question or give you a suggestion.I think you should team up with Danny Antonucci, Matt Groening, Joe Murray, Mike Judge and David Feiss to make the most WILDEST CARTOON MOTION PICTURE ON THE PLANET! I believe that I’ll become a ledgand in it’s own right. It’ll totaly bring on the legacy of Bob Clampett and all other cartoonists in that right. From my research, you and those guys have a huge interest in the old 40s animated shorts. I swear, if this is actualy done, who knows where it could go from here. It’ll be awesome!!!!!!!What do you think John? I know that you personally know David and Mike, but how about Matt, Danny and Joe?

  • ck– lovin’ that last comment of yours. how very true that charney has proven that profit does not need to come at the expense of good business practices. and kudos to the ads. never before has a little pudge here and there been so sexy.

    as someone who is neither 5’11” nor 100 lbs., it is nice to see females that are just plain hot.

    no touch ups necessary, if you ask me.

    charney’s $20 undies don’t always look like much on the rack, but gosh darnit, when i see pictures of those sexy non-models wearing naught but those very same plain tighty whities, i’ve gotta have ’em. in fact, i’d take them over these anyday!

  • May I just take a break from repacking my suitcase for my cruise to sing, “Hello, my Dan Abenaim…shevet achim gam yachad…”

    Later, Jews.

  • Esther, is there a web cam on that cruise would love to see you having a blast in the Carribean.

    Next you should go to Israel. I am able to donate $100 for that trip. Lets have CK, Laya, Chutzpah, and all others match my pledge so that you can
    be in Israel.

  • There are webcams actually…one in the Internet cafe, but I’m not sure when I’ll be there. So feel free to visit celebrityatsea.com and try to pick out some New Yorky chick in black, and you can pretend it’s me.

    I appreciate the fundrasing drive, but it’s more important to send a birthright kid to Israel for the first time than for me to go back the eighth time. Still, thanks for the idea of launching such a campaign.

  • Ok, I thought of my own complaint about the new TA AA store. There are stairs. Duh. I think that AA seems like a great place to work and shop but the TA store is not accessible to people in wheelchairs. American companies have made lots of progress for people who are differently abled. Israel has a lot of catching up to do. Moreover, why do American companies that pat themselves on the back for being good corporate citizens and making accomodations seem to forget how to do that when they open shops abroad? Must we have laws everywhere for companies to do the right thing? I mean the McDonalds in dwtn Jrslm is the same way – stairs down and no ramp. It seems to reflect the core commitments of these corporations.

  • There are stairs leading into the store?? It’s street level … There may be a couple of steps towards the back of the store I suppose. I see jOHN: what you’re saying and yes, that’s gotta suck. But the AA staff in Tel Aviv is super friendly. I am sure they’d bend over backwards to help anyone. I’ll find out some more about this … now talk to me about the clothes! what did you get?

  • Yeah – I had to think for a couple of days to think of something negative to say. But leave it to a bitchy queen…

    After you open the outer door and then there is about 3 feet of entry way before you have to step up to the level of the store. In the photo you can see that the mannequins are on a different level than the sidewalk. Then there are stairs inside the store.

    The folks at AA were super friendly and I agree that they’d be really happy to help anyone. But I just think that it’s a shame that the accessibility that has become the norm (thanks to enforcement of the ADA legislation) in the US doesn’t export when branches of US companies open in other countries without (or in Israel’s case enforcement) these rules.

    I’ll blab about this soon over on my own blog – I think that I’ve found a new mission.

  • Even with a staff that is genuinely well meaning and helpful, not every handicapped person would be thrilled to have all that attention drawn to him or her in a big store three feet from a busy street. Wheelchair access should be taken for granted. I know I take my mobility for granted.

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