Jossip has posted what purport to be report cards from one Dov Charney's time at Choate Rosemary Hall, the Connecticut preparatory boarding school that Charney attended for just one year before reportedly being expelled. (Supposed reason: "He pooped in his cereal to frame another kid for doing it." Whatever you make of that.)
Maybe that incident was what the dean was referring to when he wrote in Spring of 1987 - the American Apparel founder's final semester - "Through all the crazy moments that I went through with Dov, he has somehow managed to endear himself to me, and my life will never be the same."
"His style is and will be controversial": John Ford, Choate Dean of Students, what a gift for prescient understatement you have!
Apparently, his interest in ethics was such that he regularly called his teacher at home to ask questions about things covered in class.
Also a harbinger of things to come: the young Charney wrote a term paper on reciprocal free trade between the U.S. and Canada for his history class.
As cute as it is to imagine the idea of Dov Charney, schoolboy t-shirt mini-mogul, riding around campus on his moped and always burning with desire to discuss the finer points of J.S. Mill (as opposed to burning with desire to sleep with his cokiest girl employees), I have to wonder if these documents are real. It's awfully convenient for such a uniformly positive picture to emerge.
It strikes me as a tremendous coincidence that all of Charney's teachers would find him so charmingly precocious, with his work on the hard-driving reportorial staff of the central Connecticut Record-Journal (which was a "credit to himself and Choate" — History teacher John H. Connelly) and his endless enthusiasm for parsing the Jeffersonian and Hamiltonian positions on interpreting the constitution. Something about a teacher (Connelly, again) mentioning that Charney's "shrewd" observations always drew the admiration of his classmates raises my bullshit meter.
If these are his report cards, then late-teens Charney was clearly that charmingly/annoyingly smart guy with the big mouth who always did the reading, and then background reading, and some background on the background, just so he could ask the kind of questions you would never have thought of. Which, if true, would make it seem like an even greater shame that he's now reduced to masturbating in front of female journalists, defending endless sexual harassment lawsuits, and narrowly avoiding bankruptcy after his kudzu-like retail expansion. Seventeen-year-old Dov, if we are to take these documents at face value, actually sounds like a decent guy. Which somehow would make it all the sadder.