American Apparel clearance sale shoppers share what they think of the chain’s demise

By Jean Grant| Photography by Gabby Frank

American Apparel recently announced that it’s closing all of its stores (including four in Toronto), officially bringing to an end an almost three-decade era of neon bodysuits and skin-tight disco pants. We hit up the Queen West liquidation sale—a final opportunity for fans to stock up on their favourite items on the cheap—and asked shoppers what they’ll miss (if anything). Here, a mixed bag of feelings about the L.A. label’s closing:

Katherine Hamilton

20, Student “I’m so sad! It was a huge surprise to me. I love American Apparel and shopped here all the time. I’m also loving that everything is like, $12, but it’s still bittersweet. I’ll miss the bodysuits the most. I’ve never found any others I’ve liked that are comparable in quality.”  

Marco Gennuso

32, Writer, director, actor “I’m sad because I hate to see anything close down—especially such an established brand like American Apparel. The more outrageous stuff is not really my cup of tea, but some of the outfits are great for people who work in film. I’m looking at the hoodies and basic tees today.”  

Cassandra Curcio

24, Publisher “I like American Apparel a lot. Their stuff is not that expensive, and it’s good quality. I like that it’s made in North America. I’m going to get a little crop top and a sweater.”  

Manoosh Tavakoli

20, Student I shop here a lot, so it’s disappointing. But I love this sale. I found a cute pair of overalls today ... maybe I’ll even buy a mannequin, who knows.”  

Alex Frustaglio

28, Production coordinator “Today I came in to get some high-waisted bikini bottoms. They’re on final sale so I hope they fit, because the changerooms are closed off. I feel okay about the stores closing, mostly because there’s been so much controversy surrounding the brand. Although I guess I’m condoning it by buying their clothes!”  

Lara Buchar

23, Publicist “To be honest, I am a bit embarrassed to be shopping this sale. It’s not usually a brand I’d support. I do like the clothes, though—especially the basics. I find they’re usually so overpriced.”  

Dom Magisano

20, Barber “I don’t come in here that often. I do buy the basics—T-shirts, jackets and hoodies—because they’re simple, with no logos, and easy to modify or get screen-printed. It’s already pretty empty in here so I’ll probably just buy a tee or two.”  

Caroline Ball

25, Restaurant manager “The closing doesn’t really affect me since I didn’t really shop here. I think it’s overpriced for what you get, so I don’t shop unless it’s a sale. I’m a big bargain-hunter so I find you can often get similar stuff in thrift stores. I do love their sweatshirts and disco pants, though.”  

Chris Blanco

23, Financial planning associate “I don’t really care that it’s closing. I have like two shirts from them. They’re not one of my go-to T-shirt places, but I thought I’d come in and have a look for myself. If I find a plain tee I’d buy it.”  

Karissa Kandelas

18, Student “I don’t have many feelings about it closing; I don’t shop here much. But a lot of my friends are pretty sad about it. I like some of the stuff, like the jeans and the bodysuits.”


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