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First Woman Joins American Apparel Board Amid Controversy

American Apparel's new board of directors includes a woman. The retailer has been struggling after being hit with sexual harassment lawsuits.
Posted at 12:06 PM, Jul 24, 2014

For the first time ever, American Apparel's new board of directors now includes a woman. (Via Eklaomui22 / CC BY SA 3.0)

Which — judging by coverage of the news — is interesting, considering the clothing retailer is perhaps best known for its racy, sexually charged ads and public sexual harassment lawsuits. (Via AdlandAmerican Apparel

In fact, you probably won't find a single article about the new board that doesn't mention controversial founder Dov Charney, the subject of said lawsuits. (Via Getty Images)

CHARNEY: "I'm a schizophrenic creative, you know?" (Via ABC)

The new female director is Colleen Brown, and she's actually among three other new directors just named to the company's board.

The fact Brown is a woman, though, is snagging her the most attention in headlines.

Businessweek says the new directors add "fresh perspectives" to American Apparel.

But — and this is interesting — an article that's otherwise almost exactly the same posted on sister site Bloomberg just says "a female perspective" in that same line.

Describing three of the new board members, The New York Times almost reduces her role with this line: "The new board includes a turnaround expert, the chief executive of RadioShack and the retailer's first female board member." 

So Brown is the only one in that description that doesn't get a nod to her professional past.

But Brown is something of a turnaround expert herself: She's been credited with reviving a group of television and radio stations called Fisher Communications. (Via BIA/Kelsey)

As for former CEO Dov Charney, he remains a paid consultant for the company, but his fate is still in limbo. It's in fact one of the first things the new board will have to work on. Although Charney denies all accusations of sexual harassment, the investigation into his behavior is ongoing.