I went to American Apparel corporate today! I was geek and so excited about the whole event. My friend, JT works in the offices and he had offered to give me a tour of the entire venue. I took him up on this offer/bugged him until he gave me the tour. This particular building is located on the outskirts of the fashion district. It is like this huge old white factory building, oddly enough reminiscent of buildings in Detroit. It had those big tiled windows, with this large gravel parking lot spanning almost 200 meters from the building.
JT met me at reception, and I signed in and received my visitor sticker. Then we took the old elevator, (I am not sure if I would of known how to operate it if I were by myself) up to the 6th floor. Inside the elevator there were pictures of American Apparel models posing sexy on all sides of me. After we got to the 6th floor JT showed me the store where they sell all their wholesale t-shirts. They had a ton of stocked Ts all lined up perfectly. It looked like a catalog photo, it was far too neat. Then we walked through a hallway and we were in this office everyone was staring intently at computers. There was no talking or smiling. JT had his screen up and all it looked like was just check lists that needed to be filled out.
JT then grabbed a clipboard and we started the tour.
JT first took me to the sewing teams that he was in charge of. JT’s job is to make sure everyone is sewing the things they need to be sewing. JT also has to check that the garments being sewn have enough pattern pieces cut for the shift. If the teams don’t have the fabric they need, or the team’s pattern pieces aren’t cut JT’s department has two choices to make. They may have to cancel work for the next shift or they could get their team working on a different project.
As we walked down the stairs I saw a group of people all gathered around machines. Which was so exciting, because I own these same machines (I felt like I was now big time). The workers were all sewing and talking, and it was huge commotion. This particular group were putting on elastic and sewing bags! There were stacks and stacks of patterns pieces, it was so cool.
We slowly made big circles around different teams and then ended each round by going down stairs. This happened again and again, it was a dream like feeling. Every time we would get to a new floor the sewing teams would be doing a different operation. At one point we hit the knitting machines, they are so much bigger in real life. I also saw the largest cutting table in the United States with yards and yards of fabric lying out and the pattern lying on top of it. Workers were taking saws and cutting hundreds of pattern pieces at a time.
Then JT took me for a super quick look at the studio where they do the fashion shoots for the models. I saw boy in American Apparel shorts and a girl in a body suit and tights. We just peeped our heads in really quick. I am not sure if we were allowed in there. After that JT walked me back to the sexy elevator and down to reception. It was a great visit.
WO: 10miles(2x3min, 2x2min, 3x1min, Hard)/2xabs
Conditions: CA Cold