It’s official. I am no longer a fan of Abercrombie & Fitch. And you probably know the reason why.
It usually takes a large amount of persuasion to change my opinion, but on this occasion, my perception of one brand I used to rather quite like, has changed in a flash.
If you don’t know what I’m talking about. Let me introduce you to the wonderful man that is Michael Jeffries. CEO of Abercrombie & Fitch, who charmingly stated recently:
A lot of people don’t belong in our clothes, and they can’t belong. Are we exclusionary? Absolutely. That’s why we hire good-looking people in our stores. Because good-looking people attract other good-looking people, and we want to market to cool, good-looking people. We don’t market to anyone other than that.
What a lovely man.
Apparently, in the same interview, Michael also stated that the shop doesn’t cater above a size 10 for women because they only produce clothes for ‘attractive’ and ‘popular’ people. Instantly, A&F lost any respect I had for them.
After reading the statement, I began revving myself up for seeing a picture of this man in the flesh. I wanted to see what kind of man had made this kind of presumptuous statement. I will admit, I was expecting some kind of sex god hunk, who was obviously in the ‘popular – jocks’ crowd at school and therefore built his brand up on arrogance and looks. However, I was rather disappointed. What stared back was a very odd looking, toothy man with badly bleached hair, over-white teeth and an apparent face lift. Perfect? Nope. Delusional? Yes.
Oooh, what a dishy bloke, eh?
I used to shop in Abercrombie & Fitch a fair amount. Well, I say this – but I think it was the novelty of going into the store that kept me coming back. Of course, it’s different to all the others, in the sense it’s dark, loud and sweaty. I rarely bought anything from the shop (how Mr Perfect thinks young schoolchildren can afford his gear, I don’t know) but I guess it was an experience in itself and whenever I was in London with friends, we paid a visit.
In this day and age, I cannot believe someone can be so tactless (does this guy not have any PR awareness) to insult a large percentage of his potential market. I am a size 12 (occasionally a 14 in the not so flattering shops), and do not judge myself as ‘fat’ or ‘unpopular’. In fact, I was part of a popular crowd at school (I hate those tags, but I’m making a point) and I’m not a twig. I’m not stereo typically ‘good-looking’ like Mr Sex God apparently thinks he and his minions are. But unfortunately, I didn’t realise I was excluded from his oh so exclusive crowd.
Well, I guess I should count myself lucky that I don’t have to pay £85 + (for a plain cotton shirt) for the privilege.
Maybe it makes me as bad as him for insulting the way he looks. In reality, I don’t judge people purely on their looks – but on their ability to hold a conversation (bonus points if it’s about RHOC or Keeping Up With The Kardashians), their interests and their skills or hobbies. However, I felt like I should mention my initial impressions of this man – and how hilarious I found his claims after seeing a photograph of the hunk himself.
As a brand who attracts a large number of impressionable young girls, I think it’s outrageous and irresponsible to have someone say such horrid things. I do hope Abercrombie & Fitch suffer as a result of what he said. They deserve to. I myself am never shopping there again. We all have an opinion, but sometimes – things are best left unsaid.
Especially if you don’t fit into your target market either. It makes you look a little silly.
What do you think? Are you offended by his comments – or do you agree? Have you ever shopped there – or will you ever again?