There’s a story going viral on the internet right now, about some choice word from Abercrombie & Fitch CEO, Mike Jeffries. Unless you’ve been under a rock, I’m sure you’ve heard them. What you might not know is that the things he said were from an interview on salon.com in 2006. That’s right… this is nothing new. But the internet has brought it to light once again. To paraphrase, he says:
“I think that what we represent sexually is healthy. It’s playful. It’s not dark. It’s not degrading! And it’s not gay, and it’s not straight, and it’s not black, and it’s not white. It’s not about any labels. That would be cynical, and we’re not cynical! It’s all depicting this wonderful camaraderie, friendship, and playfulness that exist in this generation and, candidly, does not exist in the older generation.”
And then goes on to say:
“In every school there are the cool and popular kids, and then there are the not-so-cool kids,” he says. “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 [in our clothes], and they can’t belong. Are we exclusionary? Absolutely.”
He’s also been quoted saying:
“Abercrombie is only interested in people with washboard stomachs who look like they’re about to jump on a surfboard.”
“I don’t want our core customers to see people who aren’t as hot as them wearing our clothing.”
“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.”
Well, Mike Jeffries, I have a little something for you that’s going to make you dirty those expensive jeans that, according to your standards, you shouldn’t even be wearing.
Next time you visit one of your stores, and smell that stench that wafts out the doors, let it remind you of these two gentlemen:
Marketing to a specific demographic isn’t a new thing, and there’s nothing wrong with it. I don’t get mad that certain stores are plus size only, which excludes me. The issue isn’t the fact that Mark Jeffries is excluding people. It’s the way he went about it, and the words he said. Not to mention, even if that was his marketing plan, why would he come out and say it? And… seriously, who is he trying to fool? There’s a mirror in every one of his stores. Has he ever looked in one?
I’d love nothing more than for this to get back to the bee-stung-Gary-Busey-looking, shallow, pretentious Mike Jeffries. If you want to see that too, click here to tweet this post to Abercrombie.
Mike, if you do read this, and want to get in touch with the new models I found for you, feel free to have your ‘beautiful’ people get ahold of my ‘normal, realistic, not-stuck-up’ people. I’m sure we can work something out.
(By the way, a HUGE thank you to Amanda Patton, who is a follower of my blog. She took her boyfriend, Kevin Goins, and his cousin, Wade Hayes, to the A&F location in Evansville, IN and took these pics JUST FOR ME! She even told me that as they were leaving, the employees told them to have a nice day.)