An American Apparel model’s defense of the controversial CEO
Ihate being sticky. I hate being sticky and I am laying on my back on the floor, my naked chest covered in cheap syrupy lube whose original purpose was not this one, because as much as I hate the feeling of liquid silicone accumulating in my belly button, I love Dov Charney more.
The notorious T-shirt magnate is hovering over me with his camera, pleading with me to look more into this, more like I want to come. I tell him I am trying as I narrow my eyes and lick my lips, but that it’s hard because, I tell him, I am incredibly hungover. My best friend calls to him from the couch between bites of potato chips, proclaiming this to be very true. We were more than five hours late to this shoot at Dov’s loft in Manhattan because I could not stop puking up the entire bottle of wine I downed the night before. I blame the friend because it was her birthday, although when I glimpse my protruding ribs on the back of L.A. Weekly weeks later, I’m secretly thankful for having nothing left in my stomach that day.
I try harder for Dov. I shield my eyes from the camera flash, my head still throbbing with cheap merlot. Next month, when I go home to L.A. for my winter break, I will see this exact moment plastered back-to-back with another on a big billboard on Sunset Boulevard. I will simultaneously remember the wine and the lube, and I will immediately crave a hot shower.
I met Dov two years ago. In less than an hour after our introduction, he started taking pictures of me. He had asked me come down to the American Apparel factory and main offices in downtown L.A. after I had submitted a picture of myself with a big wet pink pout to the company via an e-mail on a dare. I knew what the ads looked like, but the prospect of meeting the controversial CEO with those generous muttonchops was just too tempting.
Upon meeting Dov, I was pleasantly surprised. Far from the lothario I expected, Charney seemed to be perfectly harmless as he stood at least three inches beneath me. Our introduction was simple enough, just like shaking hands and smiling hopefully at any other potential employer.
Dov quickly launched into a conversation about 50 different things at once with nearly as many people. Employees constantly streamed in and out of his big white office (which was also not the dank and perverse sex dungeon of the media imagination).
Naturally, I was waiting for the situation to turn into the opening scene from any basic porn flick, but Dov just offered me a Coke from his office fridge. I immediately began to dismiss the nasty rumors about him. He seemed just like any other dude who loves soda and hot girls, except he created the perfect T-shirt and he likes sex … a lot. Which, really, what normal guy doesn’t?