Black women can’t shop at American Apparel without being accused of shoplifting and then humiliated by police. At least, that’s what one Philadelphia woman claims, and now she’s suing an AA clothing store for more than $150,000.
Lisa Horner filed the lawsuit against a local American Apparel store (3661 Walnut Street) on Wednesday, claiming she was racially profiled last year by white AA employees at that location.
According to the lawsuit, Lisa (the only black person in the store) was trying on clothes in the dressing room last November, minding her business, and when she exited, she was immediately detained by Philadelphia police officers for shoplifting.
While she was in the dressing room, Lisa claims store employees had falsely informed police she’d stolen a shirt by replacing a new shirt with an old one.
While she was detained in the store, Lisa claims police demanded to see her ID and then searched her in front of several other customers. She claims the police found nothing and she was ultimately let go, but not without lasting emotional damage.
Lisa claims she was left feeling humiliated, angry, and depressed after the experience. She’s suing for at least $150,000 to make things right.
And it’s not the first time the L.A. based clothing company has been accused of racism — bizarre racism at that.
Aside from the fact that AA’s hypersexual ad campaigns obviously skew toward fair-skinned girls, an ex-manager at one location once said she’d specifically been instructed NOT to hire “trashy” black girls. Instead, the manager said she was instructed to hire “classy” black girls, explicitly making race a determining factor in staffing decisions. Why wouldn’t AA simply have a policy against “trashy” girls in general? Why specify black? Who knows.
Then there’s that time AA was accused of using Mexican people as fashion accessories.
Then there’s that time AA published this ad featuring a 22-year-old Bangladeshi model named Maks for its “Made in Bangladesh” campaign. She was apparently fine with it, but the ad left a bad taste in people’s mouths for various reasons, mostly for its flagrant exploitation of publicity surrounding recent Bangladesh factory disasters.
And let’s not even get into American Apparel’s ugly people policy.
At this point, you’d think AA’s been in enough hot water that its employees would just shut the fuck up already.
Unless, of course, Lisa was actually stealing shit.