Abercrombie & Fitch CEO, Mike Jeffries, very un- Abercrombie & Fitch like himself, has gone on record saying that he does not want to market his product to the fat kids or the unattractive masses. He wants the thin, cool, popular kids. He’s kind of a bully. There should be a sign out front: Send me your thin, cool, waif like huddled masses. Keep your fat, unpopular and poor. We fat shame. Welcome!If you’ve seen a photo of Mr. Jeffries, like myself, you have probably surmised that he is living vicariously through his job and title. I’d say he was not the target clientele for A&F when he was in his prime. No, he looks more to me that he may have been one of those poor woeful miscreants that he, himself, is trying to keep out of A&F. Maybe that is the entire problem with this guy, he is a self-loathing unpopular.
But I am not here to call names, I only found it ironic considering what he had gone on the record with saying. Yes, he said these ridiculous things 7 years ago and maybe he was high on crack or maybe the Botox was having some sort of crazy side effect. Who knows what makes people say the stupid shit they say. But one thing is for certain, according to this popular teen clothing retailer, fat chicks will just never be a part of the “in” crowd.
In a 2006 interview with Salon, Jeffries confirmed that the communication between hot people is his primary marketing tactic.
“It’s almost everything. 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,” he said.
Jeffries also told Salon that he wasn’t bothered by excluding fat people. In fact, he said that not limiting his ideal demographic would make his clothing less desirable.
“In every school there are the cool and popular kids, and then there are the not-so-cool kids,” he told the site. “Candidly, we go after the cool kids. We go after the attractive all-American kid with a great attitude and a lot of friends. A lot of people don’t belong [fusion_builder_container hundred_percent=”yes” overflow=”visible”][fusion_builder_row][fusion_builder_column type=”1_1″ background_position=”left top” background_color=”” border_size=”” border_color=”” border_style=”solid” spacing=”yes” background_image=”” background_repeat=”no-repeat” padding=”” margin_top=”0px” margin_bottom=”0px” class=”” id=”” animation_type=”” animation_speed=”0.3″ animation_direction=”left” hide_on_mobile=”no” center_content=”no” min_height=”none”][in our clothes], and they can’t belong. Are we exclusionary? Absolutely. Those companies that are in trouble are trying to target everybody: young, old, fat, skinny. But then you become totally vanilla. You don’t alienate anybody, but you don’t excite anybody, either,” he told Salon.
Here is my opinion on the whole ordeal. 1) He’s allowed to market to whomever he wants. If that is prepubescent teens in their prime body shape and he wants to eliminate the rest of the average body size people of the world that is his loss.It’s not against the law to be a sizist but it’s also not against the law for us to shop elsewhere. Don’t give him your money. 2) Hey, I don’t see Lane Bryant and Torrid marketing to thin people. There is nothing below a size 14 in those joints. But no one is up in arms about that. 3) I used to wear Abercrombie in my early 20’s, then I grew up. I started buying higher quality clothing and wearing more than just jeans and half-tops. As an adult, I could care less who A & F peddles their overpriced jeans to but I can say that this “fat chick” doesn’t think she’ll be throwing any of her hard-earned money their way in a couple of years when my tall, thin beautiful and popular girls wants to shop there.
All of that being said, I think this guy is a giant asshole for being so blatantly open and discriminatory about his feelings on people who are overweight and uncool ( in his eyes). P.S. I am pretty sure that in his mind he equates thinness with beauty because I’ve seen some of the horse face workers at A & F and I do believe that the only requirement is to be a size zero and NOT be a complete spaz.
Here is the problem for me. He is sending the message that all the kids who are popular shop at Abercrombie & Fitch but in order to even be allowed the privilege to shop a A & F you have to 1) be thin (no larger than a size 10 girls, when hello there are 6 foot tall girls who are perfectly thin and fit and can’t wiggle their bony asses into anything smaller than a size 12) 2) Be Popular 3) Be “hot”. He is selling a lie. He’s promoting the thought process that if you want to be popular and attractive then you have to be thin and that is bullshit. You can be thin as a rail and still be uncool and ugly as sin and still unhappy.
It’s a free country and Mike Jeffries is free to be a douche bag if he wants to be and he is free to only target certain sizes and shapes of people to sell his clothing to, perhaps he should call it Abercrombie & Fitch for Hot Teens who weigh less than 120 pounds. Make it known as a specialty boutique right off the bat to avoid the confusion of people actually expecting to find clothes that fit them in his establishment. Maybe he could post a “Must be this size or smaller to shop here” ( like they do by roller coasters) at the front of the store to avoid any potential embarrassment of a chunky girl wandering in.
Luckily, I can also give a throat punch to whomever I want in this free country of ours and this week it goes to the uncool, assuming not too attractive kid who grew up to be the CEO of A&F, Mike Jeffries.