May 23rd, 2009 | City

Rejoice, spandex-wearing Elis: American Apparel is now open

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Almost a year overdue, American Apparel has finally come to New Haven.

The Los Angeles-based company opened its Broadway store — its second location in Connecticut — on Saturday afternoon, just in time to accommodate the Commencement weekend crowds. Doors opened at 4 p.m. as eager shoppers, including some graduating seniors and their families, flocked to the store to buy last-minute goodies like clothes and storage boxes.

Earlier in the day, several shoppers stopped in front of the two-story store to look inside; through its window, they saw the vibrant red and pink stockings and the simple t-shirts and dresses that are the company’s trademark.

But the store ultimately lost some shoppers during the morning and early afternoon, as the neighboring — and competing — Urban Outfitters store featured an outdoor sale. And some potential shoppers were frustrated with late-afternoon opening.

“I can’t believe it’s [expletive] closed,” said one Eli, clad in zebra-stripe tights, as she arrived at the American Apparel store around 3:15 p.m.

“Maybe, if we just stare at her, she’ll open the door,” said the senior’s friend, as the two looked at an attendant sweeping the first floor in preparation for the opening.

Alas, the worker did not budge and the two shoppers moved on.

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(Photos: Eva Galvan/Staff Photographer)