American Apparel Names Former Liz Claiborne CEO as Chairman

LMFF 2007 - Day 4: Business Seminar

Paul Charron.

Photographer: Simon Fergusson/Getty Image

American Apparel Inc., which emerged from bankruptcy last month, named the former head of Liz Claiborne Inc. as chairman of its revamped board.

Paul Charron, who ran Claiborne until 2006, will be one of three new directors at American Apparel, the company said in a letter to its wholesale customers that was obtained by Bloomberg News. Susan Davidson, a Claiborne veteran who currently runs the fashion boutique Scoop and the Zac Posen design house, and Bruce Fetter, chief executive officer of apparel company St. John Knits, also will be joining the board.

The changes will bolster the seven-person board’s retail experience as American Apparel attempts a comeback. The Los Angeles-based clothing chain filed for bankruptcy in October following years of losses and a split with controversial founder Dov Charney. It re-emerged from Chapter 11 in February after a judge approved a reorganization that handed the company to senior lenders.

American Apparel’s other board members include CEO Paula Schneider, who took the helm after Charney was ousted, and three representatives from its bondholders. Arielle Patrick, a spokeswoman for the company, declined to comment on the board additions.

Since being fired from the company in 2014, Charney has been looking for ways back in. He teamed up with Hagan Capital Group and Silver Creek Capital Partners to assemble a takeover for the business, but that proposal was rejected by the bankruptcy judge in January.

In addition to running Claiborne, Charron has served as a senior adviser at private equity firm Warburg Pincus. He also was chairman of Campbell Soup Co. until last year.

Charney and his backers, meanwhile, are focused on creating a new business that will compete with American Apparel. “Stay tuned,” the executive said in January.

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