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Canadian retail moguls under fire: The colourful Dov Charney vs. Chip Wilson

Canada's two high profile clothing retail bosses Chip Wilson and Dov Charney have had a tough year. Mr. Wilson was squeezed out as chairman of Lululemon, the company he founded, but is now trying to re-take control. Mr. Charney lost his chairman's spot at American Apparel Inc. last week – and will likely be removed as CEO -- after he was alleged to have tried to discredit women who accused him of sexual harassment.

Here's a side-by-side look at the two fashion moguls:


Dov Charney

Childhood home

Montreal

Age

45

Real first name

Dov

School

Tufts University

Their start

Started making t-shirts in 1990; moved manufacturing to Los Angeles in 1997

Company claim to fame

American Apparel’s edgy U.S.-made clothing marketed with sexy ads

The businessman

“I have the highest-paid apparel workers in the world.”



The cowboy

“I am a bit of a dirty guy, but people like that right now.” “I frequently drop my pants to show people my new product.”


Big mistake

In 2009 American Apparel laid off about 1,500 employees after it was revealed their immigration status was questionable.

Legal problems

Had to pay $5-million to settle a suit from Woody Allen after using an image from the film Annie Hall without permission

Company stock performance
in past year

Down 63 per cent

How much they still own
of their companies

27 per cent of American Apparel (APP)

Chip Wilson

Childhood home

Calgary

Age

58

Real first name

Dennis

School

University of Calgary

Their start

Founded Lululemon in 1998; First store opened in Kitsilano, B.C. in 2000

Company claim to fame

Lululemon’s extremely comfortable, fashionable yoga wear.

The businessman

“[Women] don’t want to look like men and wear power suits; they want to dress femininely, even when they’re working out.”

The cowboy

“Quite frankly some women’s bodies just actually don’t work for [Lululemon pants].” “It is really about the rubbing through the thighs; how much pressure is there.”

Big mistake

In 2013 Lululeman recalled a key line of black yoga pants because they were too sheer, causing huge writedowns.


Legal problems

Investors filed multiple class action suits against Lululemon, alleging there were disclosure deficiencies related to the yoga pants recall.

Company stock performance
in past year

Down 32 per cent

How much they still own
of their companies

28 per cent of Lululemon (LULU)

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