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American Apparel appoints former Liz Claiborne CEO as chairman

Los Angeles clothier American Apparel Inc., which emerged from bankruptcy protection last month, overhauled its board and appointed a former chief executive of Liz Claiborne as its chairman.

Paul R. Charron is joining the seven-seat board along with two other retail veterans, according to a letter obtained by the Los Angeles Times that the company sent to wholesale customers.

The other new board members are Susan Davidson, chief executive of Zac Posen and fashion boutique Scoop, and Bruce Fetter, who is serving as chief executive of Southland manufacturer St. John Knits.

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Paula Schneider, who took over as CEO after founder Dov Charney was fired, is also a director. The three remaining board members represent the bondholders, which took control of the company when it was taken private.

In the letter, American Apparel's president of wholesale, Brad Gebhard, said the clothing maker was entering "a new phase as a privately held company."

American Apparel declined to comment.

In appointing new board members, American Apparel is trying to further distance itself from the tumultuous period that began after its board ousted Charney as CEO and chairman in 2014 when an investigation uncovered allegations of misuse of company funds and inappropriate behavior with employees.

In October, the company filed for Chapter 11. The restructuring agreement handed nearly 100% control to its largest bondholders in exchange for eliminating more than $200 million in bonds. Shareholders, including Charney, were left with nothing.

Follow Shan Li on Twitter @ByShanLi.


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