Wednesday, May 8, 2013

"No Fat Chicks," says Abercrombie & Fitch CEO

If you believe that it pays to treat others as you would like to be treated and you strive to be a "good person," you might want to reconsider allowing your child to wear clothing from and ultimately supporting the company Abercrombie & Fitch.  

CEO Mike Jeffries says that his company deliberately does not carry XL or XXL sizes for women.  The largest pant size they carry is a 10 for women.  Why?  Because Jeffries says that he doesn't want overweight women wearing his clothing.  His core customers should never see fat people wearing their clothing, nor should they be subjected to seeing fat people perusing the racks at his store.  Jeffries only wants to surround his product with "beautiful, thin people."

In a 2006 interview with Salon, Jeffries was asked a rather pointed question about the tone of his advertising as one that sells sex to kids or is borderline homoerotic at times and he got incredibly defensive.  "I think that what we represent is sexually healthy.  It's playful.  It's not dark.  It's not degrading!  And it's not gay, and it's not straight, it's not black and it's not white.  It's not about any labels."

Except that it is.  Jeffries went on to candidly discuss the mentality behind his marketing, "In every school, there are the cool kids and the not-so-cool kids.  We go after the cool kids."  And backed that comment up saying that the not-so-cool kids do not belong in his clothing.

Yeah, no labels there.

Now while my first instinct is to hunt this guy down and get creative with a nail gun, I decided to step back for a minute and think about it.  Then I googled up an image of this Mike Jeffries.
I'm going to go out on a limb and venture a guess that Mr. Jeffries was not one of the "cool kids" growing up and he's making up for it by profiting off of said "cool kids" these days.  And then in effect, alienating the group that he likely was once a poster child for:  the "not-so-cool kids."  Unfortunate that Mr. Jeffries decided to not use his experience and know-how to make a better statement to prevent such labels, instead of perpetuating them.

The marketer in me understands his mentality, but the human in me is repulsed by it.  But then, I guess that's advertising at it's grittiest.  Either way, there is NO way I will ever look at the Abercrombie & Fitch nameplate the same.  And there's no way I would EVER allow anyone I care about wear the clothes without sharing the back story on the brand with them.

I'm a chubby gal, so it would be impossible for me to ever be able to buy his clothing, so a boycott would be fruitless from my standpoint.  Instead, I choose to spread the word.  Knowledge is real power.  A good hearted person will always shine brighter and longer than a good body on a person.  Most of the kids sporting the A&F brand will eventually learn that lesson as they age.  Ah yes, aging is the cruel equalizer, isn't it?

I learned the lesson about not judging a book by it's cover a long time ago.  It's one that would serve today's youth well and even Mr. Jeffries too.  What do you think?  Drop us an email.

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