American Apparel, now owned by Canadian basics manufacturer Gildan, will return to the Canadian market through an e-commerce site Nov. 1., the CBC reports.
There are no plans for stores in the parent company's home turf, according to the report. The brand didn't immediately return Retail Dive's request for more information.
American Apparel, founded by Canadian Dov Charney and previously based in Los Angeles, was bought by Gildan nearly two years ago at a bankruptcy auction. Last year the brand relaunched its retail sales online only.
American Apparel has yet to really move on from the branding forged by its controversial founder.
Years have now passed since Charney's ouster, but though the company often says it's ditched the sexualized imagery favored by him, American Apparel has retained that vibe to a great extent. Many of its new images still contain the come-hither looks Charney favored, and much of Charney's own editorial content, both words and photographs, remain on the site. But American Apparel no longer gets the attention or notoriety that Charney brought to the brand, for good or for ill.
"That was the asset they had, that was the appeal," Bob Phibbs, CEO of retail consultancy The Retail Doctor, told Retail Dive in an interview. "Face it, this is a brand meant for millennials, but American Apparel wants to eat their cake and have it too. The only other one I can think of that's done that is Abercrombie under Mike Jeffries, with his porn boys. If they don't have that — what are they?"
Abercrombie & Fitch, after much struggle, has managed to answer that question. For years that brand seemed unable to stray from the similarly sexualized marketing that former CEO Jeffries favored, along with dark, heavily perfumed stores and a stance that the brand was only for cool kids. But more recently, Abercrombie has revamped its image to a more clean-cut, all-American approach and much wider appeal.
Gildan has tried to focus on the brand's reputation for quality, ethical and American-made manufacturing. The company has promised to retain at least some Los Angeles manufacturing, although most of the brand's clothing is now made in Honduras.