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This is American Apparel's Shiny, New, High-Tech Warehouse

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Photos Elizabeth Daniels

American Apparel is growing up. The company, whose business was built on affordable basics produced right here in the US of A, has outgrown its iconic warehouse space in Downtown LA. And instead of annexing more space nearby, AA made the executive decision to invest in the future in a big, big way by leasing a nearly 225,000-square-foot, one-floor warehouse in La Mirada.

The vertically-integrated manufacturer is in the process of testing the equipment at its shiny, vast new space and plans to begin trucking in inventory this January. According to company higher ups, the warehouse was needed for a few reasons. Space was one, speed another. The AA Factory Downtown is spread over multiple floors of a building erected in 1917, making the day-to-day operations of running a global business inefficient and tedious. Right now, everything is done by hand.

The La Mirada space won't replace the DTLA HQ, which the company will retain for its production and office space. But it will take over as the major distribution center for AA. The technology here has been carefully selected and customized for Charney & Co., from self-piloted cars by Raymond that will zoom at seven to eight miles an hour up and down shelving aisles to energy-efficient overhead lighting and a massive conveyor belt that only kicks on when a box is placed upon it. American Apparel expects that the facility upgrade will net them millions in savings per year. Take a tour of the space, above, with our exclusive gallery.
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