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Ousted American Apparel founder plans next act

Dov Charney, founder of American Apparel, poses for photos at the company's factory in downtown Los Angeles on April 3, 2012.

Dov Charney, founder of American Apparel, poses for photos at the company’s factory in downtown Los Angeles on April 3, 2012.

(Gary Friedman / Associated Press)

Dov Charney, the founder of American Apparel, is eyeing South-Central Los Angeles as the site of his new apparel company.

Charney, who was ousted from American Apparel in 2014, said downtown Los Angeles has become too expensive to start a business. He said he’d rather be in a place with more diversity and creative energy anyways.

“The West Coast spirit and the can-do spirit is there” in South Central, he said.

Within a few months, Charney said he plans to start producing basics such as hoodies, T-shirts and underwear to wholesalers, similar to how American Apparel got its start. He wants to hire “hundreds” of former employees to work at his new operation. Eventually, he hopes to open retail locations as well.

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Costs will be kept low by purchasing cutting-edge equipment, Charney said.

He also wants to invite workers to buy in as part-owners. So far, his financing comes from friends and family, he said, although he’s in talks with other interested investors.

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Charney said he has no plans to make clothes anywhere else.

“The infrastructure here in L.A. is extraordinary,” he said. “The challenge we have in this town is very exciting.”

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