Dov Charney, the CEO and founder of American Apparel, has declared one of the last things we'd ever expect to come out of his mouth: "Hipster is over." In a recent profile in Business Week, amidst all the company's finance troubles, Charney announced the brand would take a new design direction, veering more towards preppy styles, such as pleated pants, blazers, button-down shirt,s and the like.
Though Charney's announcement of the death of hipsterdom is a shocking one, we can't say that incorporating more prepster-based looks into the brand's collection is really a revolutionary move. Despite the recent proliferation of spandex and neon, hipster style has always had its roots in preppy-ness. Take the skinny, high-waisted jean for example, or the fitted plaid button-down shirt. Boat shoes and tennis sneakers, both of which have been spotted on the feet of downtown hipsters these past few seasons, were first worn by sweater-tied-over-the-shoulder, collar-popping preppies (and indeed, the semi-farcical Hipster Handbook was a satire on the Official Preppy Handbook, originally published back in 1980).
Though these looks don't seem very ground-breaking, consider them staples that, like the humble cotton t-shirt—which American Apparel clearly helped elevate—never really go out of style.
The future of the company has more to do with pleated pants and skirts, however. Today American Apparel must file its most recent (and already-delayed) quarterly report in order to avoid being delisted by the NYSE.