If you are a fan of social media, then most likely you have seen the uproar about the Abercrombie & Fitch CEO’s comments about why he does not make clothes above size 10. “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.”
Of course all clothing manufacturers only design for certain body types… you can’t design for every body… the size range that he chooses to design for is not the issue… it’s his statement about WHY he designs for only that size — he does not want “unattractive” people in his clothes and he only wants those who are his image of cool and attractive sporting A&F logos. Consistent to this path, he has been sued by an employee in 2009 who was told that she was not allowed out of the stockroom because she had a prosthetic arm and just last year by an employee who was considered too old to work on his airplane — at the ripe old age of… 55.
There are others, Rachel Zoe for example, who have the same sizing — but she has said that she is a size 0 and does not feel competent to design for size 14… fair enough… it’s not that she does not want size 14 in her clothes because she finds them unattractive…. that’s the difference.
And there is the fact that A&F chooses to burn clothing rather than donate to shelters because he does not want to see them fall into the hands of the homeless… “Abercrombie and Fitch doesn’t want to create the image that just anybody, poor people, can wear their clothing.”… well, that is just a total arrogant jerk move.
There is a YouTube video of a man who is going to thrift shops, buying up A&F clothing and giving them to the homeless to sabotage their marketing strategy. Will HS students wear the clothes now to prove that they are cool or will they think that it’s stupid and walk away? Or, perhaps, not want to take the risk that others will think that they are not cool enough to work there or wear the clothes… just another thing to feel insecure about during those fabulous awkward teenage years. The statement “all publicity is good publicity” might be tested… when it comes to alienation of people based on size, looks, disability, and age… not sure that there are many out there left to purchase their product.
It will be interesting to see where the dialogue goes from here. He has the right to say it and I have the right not to shop there for my children or myself. Then again…. Maybe all of my 40+ mom friends should start buying our clothes there…… I can fit into their clothes, but I am FAR from cool as my 12 year old reminds me often….