Dov Charney bigraphy, stories - Canadian-born U.S. based fashion designer/businessman

Dov Charney : biography

31 January 1969 -

Dov Charney (born January 31, 1969) is the founder and CEO of American Apparel, a clothing manufacturer, wholesaler, and retailer which he started at age 20. ABC News April 27, 2012

As an fashion entrepreneur, he's known for a passion for simple basic clothing and unusual leadership style, which includes being involved in nearly every part of the business process from design, manufacturing, and marketing. "I think I was born a hustler", said Mr. Charney, the fast-talking founder of American Apparel, the rapidly expanding youth-oriented t-shirt chain. "I like the hustle.

At American Apparel, Charney pioneered the Made in USA, sweatshop free model of fair wages and a refusal to outsource manufacturing.Endeavour Acquisitions Corp. Charney has also been associated with several controversial lawsuits, including a $10M lawsuit from film director Woody Allen and sexual harassment lawsuits involving ex-employees.

The Los Angeles Times named him as one of the Top 100 powerful people in Southern California and in 2009, he was nominated as a Time 100 finalist by Time magazine.

Early and personal life

Charney was born in Montreal, Canada. His father, Morris Charney, is an architect, and his mother, Sylvia Safdie, an artist. Charney is a nephew of architect Moshe Safdie. He attended Choate Rosemary Hall, a private boarding school in Connecticut and St. George's School of Montreal. Charney grew up with, and was influenced heavily by, the culture of Montreal and his Jewish heritage. He briefly attended Tufts University. As a teenager, he "fell in love" with the United States, and drew a sharp contrast between American and Canadian cultures. "...when he was 15, and "had fallen in love with the U.S. in the way only a Canadian kid can – because Americans had the freedom to choose from hundreds more kinds of sugar breakfast cereals than us." As a teenager, Charney was an admirer of American-made products.@3:30 "Charney has long been an admirer....'there is something about American products...'" As a teen, he became disillusioned with Quebec nationalism which was widespread during the 1980s. "increasingly suspect of Quebec nationalism and the sovereignty movement pervading the school system."

At an early age Charney showed signs of an entrepreneurial and independent spirit. According to the New York Times his first venture was selling rainwater he had collected in mayonnaise jars to his neighbors. In 1980, The Canadian Jewish News published a story on Charney with a headline that read "11-Year-Old Schoolboy Edits His Own Newspaper."., DovCharney.com (PDF) He sold these newspapers for 20 cents a copy near his school, only to be caught by a teacher and accused of panhandling and suspended from school. As a child he was featured in the documentary 20th-Century Chocolate Cake, in which he discussed the economics of a summer camp he attended.Young Dov

As a teenager, Charney "fell in love" with the United States, which inspired the aesthetics and name of the apparel company he later founded. His first ventures in fashion began in high school, when he started importing Hanes and Fruit of the Loom t-shirts across the border to Canadian friends. At Choate, he claims to have shipped as many as 10,000 shirts at a time, using a rented U-Haul truck to transport the goods.

In 1987, he enrolled at Tufts University. While at Tufts, he continued to operate his business, but dropped out by 1990 to pursue the apparel business full-time. He borrowed $10,000 from his father and moved to South Carolina to transition from importing T-shirts to manufacturing them. "...he was too busy shifting product to actually complete his degree in American Studies. In 1996, Charney's company restructured when it was unable to cover its debt and filed for Chapter 11. The business went bankrupt and he filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection. On July 4, 1997, he went to Los Angeles. My Name is Dov Charney By 2003, Charney had opened his first retail store and employed over 1,300 people. "With sales of $80 million this year (which are expected to double next year), it can afford to pay its 1,300-strong workforce...

Living octopus

Living octopus

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