American Apparel Was Born At Choate

American Apparel founder Dov Charney is perhaps best known for two things: masturbating on his employees and being a hugely successful entrepreneur. The alumni newsletter of the fancy boarding school that he attended for one year would like for you to focus exclusively on the latter thing!

The meteoric success of Dov Charney, founder and CEO of American Apparel, is worthy of a Broadway musical. In fact, his unbridled enthusiasm and "can-do" attitude is remarkably reminiscent of Finch, the impish window washer in How to Succeed in Business Without Really Trying. Finch, who has front-office fever, aspires to work his way up to head of the company, and does just that.
While the Choate Rosemary Hall alumni bulletin does not go on to mention the other ways that Charney likes to work his way up to the head, it does reveal a shocking truth about the nascence of his business.
Charney says he became enamored of the all-cotton Russell Athletic heather-gray T-shirts and Champion athletic wear issued at Choate's Johnson Athletic Center. At that time, only poorer quality polyester blends were available in Canada. He knew if he could purchase these American commodities in bulk, there would be a market for them back home. During breaks, he would bring his haul of American contraband down to the Amtrak station in Wallingford and board The Montrealer. Twelve hours later, he was reselling the T-shirts to his friends in Montreal for a profit. Charney acknowledges "the idea for a retailing business involving 'American Apparel' had its beginning at Choate Rosemary Hall."
Also profiled in this issue is young entrepreneur Ivanka Trump. Perhaps she got the idea for her real estate business during her Choate years! Choate Alumni Bulletin via Elizabeth Merrick