For the first time in American Apparel’s 28-year history, its items are being made outside the US, The Post has learned.
The company, which prided itself on being the largest domestic apparel maker, is now producing shirts in Honduras and Nicaragua, a person familiar with the matter said.
Gildan Activewear, which bought American Apparel out of Chapter 11 earlier this year, later confirmed the Central American production — and said that labels denoting “Made in Honduras” and “Made in Nicaragua” will start appearing on its clothes this summer.
Gildan operates fabric and sewing factories in Central America.
The shirts being made in those countries are for its wholesale division, which sells shirts to corporate customers, including those who print concert-related shirts.
Those customers are much more price sensitive, said Gildan spokesman Garry Bell.
American Apparel had employed more than 6,000 workers in several factories in Los Angeles — before they were laid off in January.
But Gildan, maker of such brands as Kushyfoot, Peds and Gold Toe, said it has not yet determined where its retail apparel will be made.
“We will be evaluating many factors, including the specific preferences for Made in USA, as we assess the opportunities related to bringing this brand to consumers over the coming weeks,” Bell said.
Most of the remaining 72 stores are closing this month, according to the American Apparel Web site. The stores and e-commerce site are being operated by American Apparel management now, but the e-commerce will switch over to Gildan.
The massive liquidations have begun.
“Don’t miss out. Stores closing throughout April,” the Web site screams, touting 80 percent in-store discounts.
Still, Gildan is eager to maintain the brand’s edgy DNA.
It’s hired former American Apparel merchandising and marketing executives, who will work out of Los Angeles, Bell said.
Meanwhile, Dov Charney, the controversial American Apparel founder who was ousted in a management shake-up, said he has hired 200 former American Apparel production workers for his new company, Los Angeles Apparel.
Charney said his new company will make its clothes in LA.
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