Dov Charney was feeling pretty good when he entered the conference room high up inside the Skadden Arps offices in Times Square. He was going to tell his board of directors — perched at eye level with the rooftops of Manhattan’s forest of midtown skyscrapers — that for the first time in years American Apparel's troubles were behind it.
Can you imagine going to work thinking you will be named the new CEO of Yahoo! that day, only to be shown the door? This is a tough love type story.
Wow, business can be harsh. Tim Armstrong of AOL can apparently be a little bit harsher.
Dov Charney's office, in the corner of the top floor of American Apparel's factory headquarters in downtown Los Angeles — like American Apparel retail locations around the world, like Charney's house in nearby Echo Park and his apartment on the Lower East Side of New York, like Charney's mind itself — is a colorful, cluttered, retro-themed and stimulating place.
Then he told me a story about humping a model from the nudie mag Perfect 10. And that is how I ended up in a 10th-floor suite of the trendy Maritime Hotel around 11 p.m. with Dov Charney, the 35-year-old senior partner and founder of American Apparel, and one of his female employees. I asked him how he relaxed.