Please Call, Dov
by Erik Seidenglanz July 2014
Rape, Pillage, and Steal, That's American Apparel.
In recent events, American Apparel has been involved in a hostile takeover under the stipulations that Dov Charney is involved and aware of the defamation of Kimbra Lo and Irene Morales. The blog under investigation was created by Gavin McIness, Co-Founder and Creative Director of Vice Magazine. He posted photographs, text messages, and evidence of the fact that these women are extortionists of Dov Charney and American Apparel.
Street Carnage and Boners is his personal blog.
The work implied involved in firing Dov Charney from CEO is from 2004 to 2008, not 2011 to 2014. Most of this information has no restrictions. The information I provided is legal, legitimate, and public information accessible from FOIA, court records, and online databases, trash digging social network hunting, all standard tools for your internet research and private investigation. It is a public company where information is public record.
Ironically the arbitration method covers up the previous lives of the woman involved and conceals their motives. All the women involved were on a path to erotic art, specifically modeling for Jacques and Purple Diaries, years before American Apparel, even dating the publisher Oliver Zahm. They are all professional extortionists.
"Anything you put on the Internet will be grabbed, indexed, cataloged, and out of your control before you know it. The genie is out of the bottle. Data doesn't stay in one location. It migrates to hundreds of places" says director of investigative agency Pallorium at the Last HOPE (Hackers on Planet Earth) conference. "Privacy is dead, get over it," proclaims Steven Rambam, thank you Mam!
C'est Legacy, qui vous suit.
A Buckminister Fuller idea in a small medium large package, I supplied a bill never to be paid. Ironically, Dov faces this war ten years later.
"And it follows that these Great Pirates came into mortal battle with one another to see who was going to control the vast sea routes and eventually the world. Their battles took place out of sight of landed humanity. Most of the losers went to the bottom utterly unbeknownst to historians. Those who stayed on the top of the waters and prospered did so because of their comprehensive capability. That is, they were the antithesis of specialists. They had high proficiency in dealing with celestial navigation, the storms, the sea, the men, the ship, economics, biology, geography, history, and science. The wider and more long distanced their anticipatory strategy, the more successful they became."
Dov is the Black Bart Bartholomew Roberts aka Jack Sparrow to American Apparel. He is directly involved in a world game built on opposition rather than a world built on open source. At the helm of his ship to sail away with American Apparel, AA is really the TEMPORARY AUTONOMOUS ZONE of Dov's mind.
Recently my in-house advertising job ended a long, radical relationship with Dov Charney of America Apparel. I was a court messenger in the monarchy, a ghost in the machine. Since 2004 I devoted my personal, political, and professional life to American Apparel. I cannot legally tell you what I did for them; Google it and you'll see. I am the online fixer, researcher, private investigator, semiotician, recruiter, digital strategist, and conceptual artist. I left recently; I am not legally allowed to talk to Dov. Yet I love working with the man. I feel I need to say this.
American Apparel without a Dov Charney is an America I do not want to live in. In my youth, this was the place to be. If you asked me how I did it, like a Magician, I will say "very well". Accepted into a team with BENNO, IRIS, and DOV to make Art, my days in the halls of American Apparel are unforgettable. It is a world where one is comfortable with your sexuality and personality, where you work with some of the best and insane artists and entrepreneurs on spaceship Earth. My decisions are directly related to American Apparel's current public trials and tribulations.
I realized, here is my chance to be someone who could sleep at night, knowing that I am selling you the truth and not another Gap or Wet Seal or Old Navy. I call bullshit on American Apparel's board as they are related to the bad working conditions and unsafe health standards, to the thousand deaths in Bangladesh only a year ago. American Apparel is adamantly against outsourcing under DOV.
LIVING WAGE is a DYING ART. Dov's American Apparel is looking more like the movie BRAZIL, a theme he whistles in the halls of the factory.
Dov gave me the legs to be a street fighter. Under his wing, he taught me more about business and entrepreneurship than any other man. I am the Seahorse Liberation Army also known as Play Play Play, Inc. and finally a salaried employee on the brand side. I am not a high level executive, but I work with all of them on the 7th floor. Immediately, I became the Internet mechanic for online hijinks at American Apparel. I am the other Ryan Holiday you have never heard of.
ERIK C SEIDENGLANZ
UNDER Dov Charney & Iris Alanzo
Seahorse Liberation Army
Play Play Play, Inc
American Apparel, Inc. 2004–2014
Home Movies, the Personal is Political
I am a product of the 80's conceived in Aspen, Colorado. My mother and father are loosely tied to my teenage hero Hunter S Thompson. Hunter and my mother would play poker games in Woody Creek, Colorado at the Owl Farm; she would take his money. She hid this from me in fear of emulating the mythology of Hunter S Thompson, "lean in to the edge", a family motto and a strange saga of which I loved every minute.
I am a child of the AOHELL generation, a subset of Generation X. My next door neighbor and best friend, two years younger than I was, whose mother founded AsianConnections.com, filled her home with endless Macintosh computers, cultivated a DIY education by understanding early internet programming and html. We were obsessed data junkies from the 90's, hunting and hacking for fun. We created blogs before blogs existed via "Yahoo Categories." We cultivated a self-teaching process that eventually brought us to Lynda Weinman as her star students; founder of the online software training website Lynda.com. Michael Kai, myself, and the kids of the AOHELL cult understood the potential of the Internet at an early age where our parents would steal our ideas by handing us a toy, the Internet, a weird phenomenon. My next-door neighbor Michael Kai became an executive at Real365 of RealAudio by promoting a seal on a rooftop in San Diego; he is a digital strategist and artist. My addiction to AOL Floppy Disks took me from research and development as a child hacker- nerd to a conceptual artist and social engineer in the name of play. My days of art school pranks and conceptual art success ended after ten years of fun in college, with Life and I in search for a job.
I have started a corporation for music licensing and fine art. I am now with a group of friends restoring and selling mid-level baby grand pianos. Everything I know about business I have learned from my mother and father, and Dov Charney.
Enter Dov Charney. I found his problems online after my first week as a retail employee in Berkeley, CA. As part of company protocol, new hires are asked to read the Marketing Book to learn more about the company. I fit right in including the little shorts and within a few weeks, I called Dov. I began my journey, a self-education into what it means to run a corporation.
In corporations the work is divided in increasingly visible way into highly skilled positions of research, conception, control, coordination and communication which deploy all the knowledge necessary for new cybernetic production process, and unskilled positions for maintenance of monitoring of this process. The first are few in number, "very well" paid and thus so coveted that the minority who occupy these positions will do anything to avoid loosing them. They and their work are effectively bound in one anxious embrace. Managers, scientist, lobbyists, researchers, programmers, developers, consultants and engineers, literally never stop working. Even their sex lives serve to augment productivity. A Human Resources philosopher writes, "The most creative businesses are the ones with the greatest number of intimate relations."
This motivation, the know-how, the capacity to innovate, and very raw material of innovation are the groups of people Dov attracts to American Apparel. Their behavior, their social and emotional competence is an extension of Dov's work and influence. This should no longer be evaluated on the number of hours performed and punished as a kid with the dunce cap, but on the basis of objectives achieved and the quality of the result. Dov has taught the kids of American Apparel to be entrepreneurs in our battleground. It is guerrilla warfare, 130-hour workweeks. That's my American Apparel.
Dov Charney is "our heroic Serge Gainsbourg Jew . We are all his piano, yet he has no Jane Birkin". With a heart broken once too many, his staff is his friends. Dov Charney is a joy to work for. While working with him, I understood Dov's tactics to teach his staff to run a company. He is a great Harvard professor you chase around a mile-long factory while enthusiastically pointing and shouting about the tasks at hand. A great leader and boss, an excellent alternative to business school, with a stand up comedian humor you learn to respect and love. American Apparel without a Dov Charney is an America I do not want to live in. He has brought manufacturing back to America, a sweat- less shop with fair wages, sustainability, economy, employment. American Apparel is Jobs.
The Charney Family has been long associated with utopia through idealism, architecture, and design with the minds like Buckminster Fuller. Dov is no different. American Apparel is Dov's holy war. He reminds me more of the Japanese performance artist Yayo Kusama if she were to run a cotton company in service of Marx. Dov is "Marxism in the service of Coca-Cola," and that is what American Apparel is, it is beautiful in its spectacle, it is a fire made of cellophane and light and a fan, as in Pirates of the Caribbean at Disneyland.
American Apparel, Double Agents, and Guerilla Semioticians
Last year was the biggest guerilla-war of my life with American Apparel. 130-hour workweeks as a court messenger in the craze, I created some of the best work of my life thus far.
I am reminded of the original readymade: the symbol of power: the original sale of pseudo-bourgeoisie culture collecting, where Galileo sells Jupiter to the Medici family. An act of gratitude and respect to the family's celestial power; an act that inevitably allowed Galileo to fund and continue his research becoming the founding fathers of the celestial heavens.
It all began with my first placed press in Fast Company about getting kids to use mopeds for fast transfers between stores. I quickly moved on to fixing the problems with MySpace accounts made by angry store employees in typically leftist college towns. Young enough to leverage Dov Charney, I presented him a choice of a small, medium, and large bill for the erasure of the MySpace "un-american apparel" accounts. From the School of the Art Institute of Chicago, a collaborator and I solved this online issue created by a politically charged employee who violated his Terms of Service agreement for the content he publicly shared about the company after signing an Arbitration Agreement under his Hiring Contract. So we erased it. I was immediately considered a hero, given a job, flown to Montreal, and put on as an Independent Contractor.
This is how I turned an art school project into a career. Through my professor Tony Labat, head of Masters program at the San Francisco Art Institute New Genres Department, I channeled "blackmail as art" in the service of play. I never imagined it would make my reality this complex and come full circle ten years later. I am proud of all my work and I executed it with elegance and care. I would do it again as I was actually seeking justice online in a world that manipulates the truth.
My first days at American Apparel began in Montreal. I secretly recorded Dov Charney describing his hiring practices, aka casting. "Band kids are spot lighters; we want artists with knowledge of visual representation such as some kids from Art Center College of Design in Pasadena"quoted Dov Charney. I used it as leverage to keep my job in the beginning. Leaving my Fiat X1/9 behind to return to my girlfriend and work remotely (until this day the car sits stuck in between the two buildings of the Factory), I left borrowing Dov's beloved 1986 white Toyota Starlet. I learned to drive stick in Dov's car. Years later, called by Ryan Holiday, I returned to Dov and his idea that it was useful to have me on staff in-house in Los Angeles to play a bigger role once again. Until this day he still gives me a hard time for "stealing his car" but atones with it since I came back and "anyone who stabs you in the back and comes back has something to prove to you," he said quoting the 48 Laws of Power.
The strange and epic saga continues at American Apparel as I stand behind all the work I have done. The company discovered that the sales trend was directly related to Dov's press.
In 2004, my work done with my collaborators on the blogosphere became a standard for marketing. Ryan Holiday, currently calling himself the Marketing Director, has been diligently pursuing this marketing tactic for many years since. He elaborated the idea and process extensively in his book Trust Me, I'm Lying; and illustrates the case studies in Growth Hacker Marketing, picking up where I left off from my youth as a social hacker from art school. Ryan Holiday has been pushing the sexual harassments lawsuits for American Apparel marketing for a decade now. By consistently using negative press as tactics to make sales, giving Dov the Doonesbury treatment of Hunter S. Thompson, the company is portrayed in a grotesque limelight.
To constantly advertise negative press of sexual harassment and perversion, the audience completely misses the point: American Apparel is an industrial revolution and taking a stand in class war by offering sustainability and a living wage; creative management over automation by providing a West-to-East opportunity.
Ironically, the board and administration once said to me in the main elevator, "You're Dov's hacker. Great to hear we have you." I didn't know what to say as I am wearing many hats. If you asked me how American Apparel is doing, I will say "very well". They are providing sustainability for 12,000 people weekly and biweekly. If you ask me how American Apparel is doing with its vendors, they may be paid late, but that is just business. American Apparel's profit is a liquid Marxian profit made of cotton t-shirts, lame, well-compensated sewers, and the Bunny Holiday fabrics department. (No relation to Ryan Holiday).
Blood, Design, and Crime
Dov's American Apparel is a symbol of the American flag, the American Dream. It is an extension of Hunter S. Thompson's gonzo. You have to look at the inner mechanisms, the thousand shell games all at once. It is a business without borders, it helps free NAFTA restrictions, it is a utopia. American Apparel's utopia is the symbol of the American Dream.
American Apparel is "Sweatshop Free" meaning we know each other, a face-to-face workplace; it means paying a living wage and treating workers as human beings. It is bringing dignity back to the workplace. He has vertically integrated its business model to create an environment of efficiency. It means every worker has access to Dov Charney.
Here are the core values of American Apparel under Dov: A workforce making a living wage in America in a West- to-East clothing manufacturing company made in Downtown LA. It helps the city of Los Angeles, Downtown, and its workers' families in many poor countries by creating an economy for the people of LA, California, United States, and around the world. American Apparel offers an international minimum wage and stands behind it.
Where is Robert Greene in all of this? A supposed friend and mentor. You think the master of information and war would absolutely be on Twitter, giving his statements on what looks like case studies from his book The 33 Strategies of War as he sits as a board of director of American Apparel in a hostile take over civil war?
All The King's Men
"Mayer has a small sculpture of a man on a horse with a sword and a lane: a white knight". The white side of the board, the white is good in all things; Mayer is the black knight camouflaged as a white knight. He is a lancer, a freelancer, a hit man. His forte is crisis management; he deliberately created this scenario to gain control, to compensate investor's higher shares. His premeditated coup only serves for a larger salary. His coup has no inclination to serve to American Apparel's ideals, or its employees. It is tyrannical '50s conservatism with hypocrisy, attempting to profit from the situation raising their salaries for 6 months equaling extrusion. They have set themselves to create immense large salaries, an epitome of the Wolf of Wall Street, seemingly to make the utmost profit for the shareholders as the company enters financial ruin.
The board is neglecting its fiduciary roles to make a profit for the shareholders, bottom line. It is the only law they really obey. They are negating this with the exit of Dov Charney. Its role is not to create a quality product. This is where they really faulted. They have jeopardized the last year of problem-solving we, the American Apparel manufacturers and designers, all diligently worked with Dov to fix a twenty-million dollar distribution software sabotage in the new state-of-the-art distro-house, an hour east of Los Angeles in La Mirada, California. There is no weight behind their statements.
American Apparel's bottom line is to craft sex that sells, and to make shareholders money, by fiduciary law. Dov's mission is to be the best "Made in the USA" idealism, remembered as art. Yet "Made in California" is more dangerous than "Made in the USA." The board has realized this.
This is the best chance in the history of my generation to watch a boxing match of a vintage hostile takeover. HBO should televise it, I should start a website to place a bet on BitCoin. Dov is more American than the American Flag as long as it is his American Apparel. What would Hustler be without Larry Flynt? Where would the USA be with out Larry Flynt? or Lawrence Ferlinghetti and his obscenity trials?
"A brand synonymous to Alcoholics Anonymous, American Airlines, and software APPs," former President of Young Presidents' Organization applauded Dov Charney for going public with a Made in USA marketing strategy. Made in California enthusiasm reminds me of the hot rod days of Bob's Big Boy in Los Angeles where any dream can be fulfilled from your own garage. To go public with a product from this California sublime culture is very hard and life changing. California has a history of creating million dollar brands from the garage start-up. That is what I see driving around Los Angeles, a man who pursued diligently to succeed in its hurdles, where California-made in the spirit of the 60's is the basis of the cool cute rebellion, a self-aware semiotic using international style.
American Apparel is "form follows emotion," as the German designer of Sony Trinitron televisions Hartmut Esslinger put it. Dov Charney is to American Apparel what Steve Jobs is to Apple. Both business models are "Made in California," what Esslinger radically proposed: A "born-in- American gene for Apple's DNA... a California global look inspired by Hollywood and music, a bit of rebellion and natural sex appeal." American Apparel's product is synonymous to Apple's Esslinger products in the 1980s, featuring white cases with tight and rounded curves with lines and thin grooves for ventilation and decoration. For American Apparel is a sex machine. And as the banned Calvin Klein ads from the 80s proved, sex sells.
American Apparel sells contrarian thinking with taste within the schizophrenia of capitalism desiring machines. Dov is appropriating automation into his American clothing manufacturing company where in ten years when the rest the world is finally automated, Dov can offer better jobs rather than be mindless cog-in-the-machine work. The automation of society will give people their lives back through the availability of creative management jobs.
D.O.V. in the Hot Girl City
All the lawsuits were premeditated involving sexual harassment and combined by the law firm to get the most buck for the bang by the very women suing. I am even aware of the four women grouped together by the law firm Eric Baum & Associates. Their losses altogether amount to $250 millions to AA in a no-win situation, and they have taken measures to legally block, regroup, and align their stories. Irene Morales was the biggest extorter of all. This is a lynch mob troll out of control, an Internet based meme that lasted a decade.
According to Steet Carnage (http://www.streetcarnage.com/blog/dear-street-carnage-fuck-you/),
"As their lawyer said, being slutty 'in no way means they deserved to be harassed and assaulted'... In a quarter billion dollar lawsuit and on national television, Morales said she was forced to send those. Now they’re relevant because to look at them is to see what a huge pile of horseshit that is." Below is a timeline created by Gavin McInnes and Street Carnage. Supporting evidence that these photographs and text messages sent to Dov Charney were after the lawsuits in April 2008 when she was no longer part of the company. Morales quit December of 2008.
MESSAGES SENT AFTER THE ALLEGED ASSAULT
June 26, 2008: Morales emails pictures of her ass and suggest she and Charney have some “Good clean fun.”
December 24, 2008: Morales sends email calling Charney “an amazing person.”
December 28, 2008: Morales sends text, “I miss you incredibly,” and, “I really miss working beside you.”
June 29, 2009: Morales sends text that says, “I bought a fat dildo…."
July 9, 2009: Morales sends a wishlist of clothes and promises “delicious blowjobs” and to lick his asshole “clean.”
July 6, 2009: Morales sends wire information asking for money.
July 31, 2009: Morales asks for a Mac laptop.
August 17, 2009: Morales asks to work in the store again.
September 11, 2009: Morales sends more dirty photos.
September 17, 2009: Morales texts Charney, “Every night. I’m so horny.”
September 19, 2009: Morales emails more dirty photos. Asks for money.
September 29, 2009: Morales says, “Every night I’m so horny.”
November 12, 2009: Morales asks for a plane ticket to LA. Asks for money and clothes again.
December 12, 2009: Morales sends MORE DIRTY PHOTOS.
January 13, 2010: Morales sends MORE DIRTY PHOTOS.
May 13, 2010: Morales asks for work and says, “I miss you.”
May 19, 2010: Morales asks for work.
June 15th, 2010: Morales asks for money.
July 4, 2010: Morales asks why he won’t let her work at the stores anymore. Begs to be with him. Asks for plane ticket to LA.
July 9, 2010: Morales begs to be re-employed by AA. Dov relents and gets her a job delivering flyers.
July 25, 2010: Female supervisor fires Morales after several no-shows. Morales receives a severance.
August 9, 2010: Morales expresses anger over his lack of interest. Threatens Dov with retaliation.
December 2010: Files suit against AA for $250 million.
In the same article, McInnes describes the situation as such and provides a similar timeline as Morales. "The story with Kimbra is slightly different. There are photos of her encounter with Charney. She doesn’t deny these photos exist but claims they were taken without her permission. Did she not think anybody would see them? (She admits they were only together once so this must be that time.) She claims he attacked her, she was held captive and she was 'terrified.' And of course, like Morales, Kimbra Lo contacted Charney AFTER the alleged assault on December 9th, 2010."
Dec 31, 2010: Lo apologizes.
Jan 3, 2011: Lo texts Dov wanting to talk.
Jan 3, 2011: Lo has hour-and-a-half conversation with Charney.
Jan 3, 2011: Lo has online meeting with Charney.
Jan 14, 2011: Lo joins Morales’ suit."
This is a prime example of where arbitration has failed the one person and scenario it is meant to protect. The work completed was done via private investigations and a term we coined "the Google dance". This is where we link back press about a product or news release to Wikipedia from all over the web and duplicate it in a press center, therefore improving our SEO position at the second place slot, circa 2004. The two practices are synonymous and curated from public data allowing for more positive topics at the top of the conversation rather than letting the trolls dominate a slanderous opinion. This is marketing; it is defensive and offensive online reputation management; it is not defamation. Like the trolls blogging in forums, we created a feedback loop.
My main reference in any job is within a press kit Whole Earth catalog 1999's article on systems analysis. Its thesis suggests the leveraging point in a system is a feedback loop. This is where to look for your answers.
Teach Me How to Bunny
Look at positive American Apparel ad campaigns online, the ones that are geared toward art history. Google search "Imp Kerr" or Tumblr search "#ImpKerr." In Roland Barthes' Mythologies, chapter Striptease, Barthes emphasizes the contradiction that the "woman is desexualized at the very moment when she is stripped naked." How does Dov's online expose nude dance differ from "Nude descending a staircase" or Calvin Klein's banned ads, or any other naked American Apparel model. The leaked semi-selfie becomes the same as the ad campaign, a hyper-real analysis of the satire play in the fashion-advertising world. He is playing both the artist and the muse, the artist in the studio, the muse in the mirror. "The metamorphosis, not narcissist" said Frederico Fellini. How does Dov dancing in the nude differ from girls in bikinis salaciously cleaning solar panels?
"Skin as the new extension of clothing" said Marshall McLuhan in the centerfold of his own book; The Medium is the Massage (not message). "Massage your dreams," Dov would say. I developed an ad campaign with Imp Kerr for American Apparel to show how their marketing model is about the history of sexual representation and fashion in Fine Art through the red line and long copy (http://www.absorbamericanapparel.tumblr.com). With references to Foucault and Hegel, from Damien Hirst to Bitcoin, and even jokes about this incident with a series of ads with the copy, "How often do you get a second chance... a third chance." About six months ago, our ads were to be distributed on Bitcoin and Facebook and porn ad networks to create a conversation about art advertising and the hyper reality of fashion advertising. "It's a truism but twenty similar images have a stronger effect than one image. So at the end it was a campaign, a story, a small world, subtle enough to confuse and raise questions. It became a hoax and a plural commentary on nudity, advertising, street art, Internet credulity, limits (in representation, judgment, etc), truth and fiction" says Imp Kerr. We compressed the fashion industry in our work with the hope that the trolls loose to the MFA and PhD art students in a discourse over the odd imagery developed with the goal to create the same valency.
Suce ma bite!
I cannot even begin to tell you why I left the company. I am contractually bound to be vague or pay one million dollars to the board of American Apparel. Ironically, arbitration is in favor of the new administration rather than Dov Charney who it was meant to protect. I have worked with American Apparel for years. If you ask how and what we did, I will say "very well", like a Magician.
For the last two years, I have seen the sun rise from the peak and precipice of 747 Warehouse St, standing tall at the corners of the building three to four days in a row. The sun also rises at American Apparel.
To be continued...
my tumblr, http://www.turntotheseidenglanz.tumblr.com