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American Apparel has filed for bankruptcy protection on October 5.

The Los Angeles-based clothing chain, which has been plagued by plunging sales, high debts and several management crises, said it had agreed a deal to restructure its finances.

The company has been involved in a drawn-out legal battle with its founder Dov Charney over misconduct claims.

American Apparel runs 260 shops and concessions in 19 countries.

The retailer, which has been trying to turn around its business, recorded a loss of $19.4 million in Q2 2015.

Photo American Apparel

Photo American Apparel

American Apparel CEO Paula Schneider said: “This restructuring will enable American Apparel to become a stronger, more vibrant company.”

Under the restructuring agreement, American Apparel’s secured lenders will provide about $90 million in financing, the company said.

It expects to cut its debt to $135 million from $300 million through the restructuring, with the program set to be completed within six months.

The company said it would continue to operate its retail stores, and its wholesale and US manufacturing operations throughout the process.

American Apparel, known for making its products in the US, has not turned a profit since 2009.

In August, the company flagged up problems with its finances, saying it might not have enough capital to keep operations going for the next 12 months as losses widened and cash flows turned negative.

American Apparel was founded in 1989 by Canadian Dov Charney. The company fired Dov Charney in December 2014 over misconduct claims, and in June it was granted a restraining order against him.


Rihanna has won a legal battle with British clothing retailer Topshop over a T-shirt bearing her image.

Rihanna, 25, sued Topshop’s parent company Arcadia for $5 million over the T-shirts, which featured a photo taken during a video shoot in 2011.

The singer’s lawyers told the High Court in London the fashion chain duped fans and may have damaged her reputation.

They said the picture was “very similar” to images used on CD sleeves for one of her albums.

Judge Colin Birss ruled that a “substantial number” of buyers were likely to have been deceived into buying the T-shirt because of a “false belief” it had been approved by Rihanna.

He said it was damaging to her “goodwill” and represented a loss of control over Rihanna’s reputation in the “fashion sphere”.

Topshop’s lawyers had claimed Rihanna was making an unjustifiable bid to establish a “free standing image right” over use of her picture in the UK.

Rihanna sued Topshop for $5 million over the T-shirts, which featured a photo taken during a video shoot in 2011

Rihanna sued Topshop for $5 million over the T-shirts, which featured a photo taken during a video shoot in 2011

The photograph used by Topshop had been taken during filming of a music video in Northern Ireland in 2011.

In a two-minute judgment, Justice Colin Birss said there was “no such thing as a general right by a famous person to control the reproduction of their image”.

“The taking of the photograph is not suggested to have breached Rihanna’s privacy,” he continued.

“The mere sale by a trader of a T-shirt bearing an image of a famous person is not an act of passing off.

“However, I find that Topshop’s sale of this T-shirt was an act of passing off.”

Justice Colin Birss did not make an assessment of any liable damages in his ruling.

Topshop said it was “surprised, disappointed and perplexed” by the High Court decision.

“There was no intention to create an appearance of an endorsement or promotion,” it said.

“We feel that the fact that Rihanna has shopped, worn and had a relationship with Topshop for several years appears to have been detrimental to our case.”

Rihanna has her own fashion line at River Island. Her first collection for the fashion retailer went on sale in spring 2013.


H&M’s latest spring offering, a collection called The New Mix, features pieces that have an uncanny resemblance to industry-favorite looks from Balenciaga, Celine and Kenzo.

As the fast-fashion retailer sales continue to decline, with a brief reprieve in April as the once-thriving clothing retailer struggles to hold on to customers, it seems to have found an answer in high-end designs once again.

One white jersey bustier, retailing for $19.95, looks strangely similar to Balenciaga’s white crop top from the spring 2013 collection – which Kristen Stewart turned heads wearing at last year’s On The Road premiere.

The thermoformed crossover top, made of laser cut-outs, retails at Balenciaga for $1,535.

At Celine, Pheobe Philo sent out a spring 2013 collection, in store now, of stylish, but slovenly elegant pieces in a mostly black and white offering.

One particular dress, the textured Sable dress, was an instant hit with buyers and fashion editors, and H&M seems to have taken note.

The brand’s $24.95 jersey tank top with mesh at the front “for a deep V-neck effect”, is a mirror-image of the Celine dress, which retails for $3,250 in crepe, or $2,900 in silk satin.

H&M's white jersey bustier looks strangely similar to Balenciaga's white crop top from the spring 2013 collection

H&M’s white jersey bustier looks strangely similar to Balenciaga’s white crop top from the spring 2013 collection

And taking Kenzo’s $255 sell-out Tiger motif to similar heights is a gray sweater from H&M featuring a comparable multi-colored, growling tiger – and customers don’t seem troubled that the company appears to be trading in knockoffs.

One commenter on live journal, Fashin, said she believes democratization of high-fashion is a good thing.

“Designer clothes cost tens of thousands of dollars, why pay when you can get the same thing for $40?” she wrote.

“People like you and I and the rest of the middle class world want to look stylish but don’t want to go broke doing it. I get that copying is wrong, though, but it’s almost justified given the outrageous prices designers put on their clothes.”

H&M has never made a secret of its relentless to chase trends and cater to an ever-widening, insistently competitive fast-fashion market.

While the retailer’s fashion-designer collaborations and celebrity collections get a lot of media attention, Beyonce’s H&M swimwear campaign being one recent example, its prices- 60% cheaper than Zara’s but more expensive that Forever 21, have left H&M struggling to position itself.

While customers often bypass 90% of the store’s offerings, stocked heavily with basics such as T-shirts and trousers, many call the remainder – such as look-a-like Balenciaga tops for less than $20, “an incredible buy”.

One woman, referring to the retailer’s frequent turnover of styles that mimic high-end designs, tweeted: “I like how it’s accessible.”

But another commenter, who cherishes the exclusivity of owning a designer piece before it is turned into a reproduced bargain for the mass-market, explained to fellow forum members: “You like the fact that you can get your hands on similar pieces from the runway at a good price.

“However, now that you can afford it, so can everyone else and that makes the pieces less special.”

While a Twitter user, under the name Anon Model, was slightly more blunt: “H&M is the king of knock off stores. Just saw a Celine bag knock off, Balenciaga top… Have they no shame?!