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American Apparel Ditches Sexy Ads, Aims To Capture "Millennial Spirit"

"The millennial spirit is not about age but about involvement, individuality and self-expression," American Apparel told investors in a presentation. "Nudity and blatant sexual innuendo" are out.

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American Apparel, a week after obtaining a restraining order against founder Dov Charney, has presented investors with its turnaround plan, including a strategy for winning back the hearts of young people.

The company said it plans to "recast the brand in a positive, inclusive, socially conscious light," in a presentation filed with the SEC yesterday. The old American Apparel used "nudity and blatant sexual innuendo" and was"offensive to many." The new American Apparel is for the "confident and naturally beautiful from 16 — 60," natural without makeup and airbrushing and "racially universal."

"The millennial spirit is not about age but about involvement, individuality and self-expression," American Apparel said in the presentation, which is titled "Chaotic to Iconic." It's "inspiring because anybody can be beautiful enough to be a model."

The company went on to describe so-called "millennials," noting that there are about 90 million people in the group, which covers 15- to 35-year olds. These individuals "are the key influencers in fashion and current events," American Apparel said.

The retailer shared photos of its new, tamer billboards, and its plans for an "authentic online blog to focus on fashion, lifestyles & social commentary," which are included below.

American Apparel's new management is setting its sights on building a $1 billion brand after ousting ex-CEO Dov Charney and executives close to him in the past year. The new executives, appointed by hedge fund Standard General, have claimed American Apparel wasn't run properly under Charney. They have criticized the number of styles the company produced, its provocative advertisements and its financial performance, noting that the company hasn't posted an annual profit since 2009.

But since Charney's surprise firing, the company has been fighting a steady stream of lawsuits from the founder and his allies, while struggling to stem declining sales. Last week, Standard General and its new executives scored a victory after Charney was ordered to stop making negative statements to the press about American Apparel and to stop seeking the removal of its board members.

The company brought in $609 million in sales last year and ended 2014 with 242 stores. American Apparel's intermediate goal is to boost sales to $700-$750 million, and eventually grow to $1 billion.

Its new mission is "to be a financially sound, socially conscious, iconic brand that provides high quality American made products to consumers while maximizing stakeholder value."

The stock closed at 55 cents a share yesterday, after trading as high as $1.21 in the wake of Charney's termination in mid-2014.

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Sapna Maheshwari is a business reporter for BuzzFeed News and is based in New York. Maheshwari reports on retail and e-commerce.

Contact Sapna Maheshwari at sapna.maheshwari@buzzfeed.com.

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