Recently, Abercrombie and Finch has stirred up some people over online.
On May 3, Business Insider published an article titled “Abercrombie & Fitch Refuses to Make Clothes for Large Women,” which cited several quotes from retail industry analyst Robin Lewis accusing Abercrombie & Fitch CEO Mike Jeffries of trying to exclude overweight customers from shopping at his stores. The article also went on to mention that Jeffries had previously stated in an interview with Salon in 2006 that the company was intentionally exlusionary and only wished to market to “cool kids.”
“In every school, there are the cool and popular kids,” he said. “We go after the cool kids. We go after the attractive all-American kid with a great attitude and lots of friends. 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 good looking people, and we want to market to cool, good-looking people. We don’t market to anyone else.”
Then on May 7, Redditor NJFiend submitted a link to the Salon interview article in a post titled “TIL The CEO of Abercrombie & Fitch went on record as saying he does not want fat or unattractive people wearing his clothes or employed at his company,” receiving over 8,800 up votes and nearly 2,000 comments prior to being archived.
This started a small craze as Redditors were quick to point out Jeffries’ own lack of physical appeal, creating a slew of images insulting his looks and comparing him to actors like Gary Busey and Thomas Wilson in the process.
Meanwhile, ABC News visited Abercrombie’s flagship store in New York City to survey the distribution of available sizes and reported that most items on display were double-zeros and extra-smalls, with few large tops and size 10 pants. The report also confirmed that Abercrombie & Fitch doesn’t carry extra large or extra-extra large for women.
And on May 8, change.org member Benjamin O’Keefe submitted a petition demanding Jeffries to make clothes for all sizes available to the customers. The petition has received at least 2,480 pledges as of May 9.
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