We’re starting to wonder if embattled American Apparel CEO Dov Charney doesn’t just do and say certain things just to get a rise out of us. (And upon reflection, we’re pretty sure that’s exactly what he does, so… Anyway!) Charney is the subject of a New York Times profile today in which he mocks American Apparel’s board of directors, decries the “repressive” state of American culture, and reveals his desire to recreate the Playboy mansion in his 20-room concrete home in Los Angeles’ hipster-friendly neighborhood of Silver Lake.
Charney, it turns out, doesn’t like to be alone. And as such, he makes sure to have a gaggle of friends (or employees, the Times helpfully points out) living with him at any point in time. These roommates are, for the most part, young females. One of Charney’s friends, Ilse Metchek, the president of the California Fashion Association, describes his home as a “dormitory.”
“He is not a good solitary soul,” she said. “He needs to have somebody around to say, ‘Yes, Dov,’ or feed into what he is saying.” She has also advised him: “I say, ‘Why don’t you get better people in there instead of those chirpy girls?’ ”
Charney, unsurprisingly, is dismissive of Metchek’s description and advice. “She hasn’t been to my house and hasn’t met the people I live with,” he tells the reporter, adding that the lifestyle he hopes to eventually emulate is that of Hugh Hefner and the Playboy mansion in the ’70s.
To illustrate the point, he grabbed a Time magazine from July 1973 and turned to an article about Mr. Hefner and Bob Guccione, the founder of Penthouse. There, the two publishing magnates were photographed working on their magazines and enjoying dinner around a table, surrounded by women, naked and clothed.
He said he was worried about preserving the company’s distinct culture.
He might want to worry a little bit more about preserving the company, period.