American Apparel Only Wants Black Employees With 'Nice' Hair?

Company memos outline hiring do's and don'ts based on race, weight, hairstyles, clothing and more.


Internal documents from American Apparel reveal hiring practices that discriminate against the overweight, the pierced, the unstylish and black women who don't have "nice hair," whatever that means:

Many said that the company's practice of photographing all job applicants has been going for years.

Another former AA manager says that she received the following instructions as to what kind of black girls she should try to hire during the company's open calls:

"none of the trashy kind that come in, we don't want that. we're not trying to sell our clothes to them. try to find some of these classy black girls, with nice hair, you know?"

i will remember that forever, especially the "nice hair" part. he was instructing another manager and i on who to look for during an upcoming open call, and i sat there dumbfounded, listening to him speak while the other manager made "uh huh, got it" sounds on her end of the phone. the other manager on the call with me later became a district manager, and at one point instructed me to tell two of my employees (both of whom happened to be black females) to stop straightening their hair. i refused to do this, but wondered if the mentality behind her request was related to what dov had said.