Abercrombie & Fitch CEO Mike Jeffries Doesn’t Want Fat Women Wearing His Label
Are you too fat to wear Abercrombie & Fitch? If you ask CEO Mike Jeffries, the answer will probably be yes. According to Business Insider‘s Robin Lewis, a retail industry analyst and co-author of The New Rules of Retail, Jeffries “doesn’t want larger people shopping in his store, he wants thin and beautiful people.”
In attempt to ensure that only cool people can wear the label, Abercrombie & Fitch does not carry XL or XXL in its women’s apparel and the brand’s largest size in the United States of America is a 6. “He doesn’t want his core customers to see people who aren’t as hot as them wearing his clothing,” says Lewis. “People who wear his clothing should feel like they’re one of the ‘cool kids’. Abercrombie is only interested in people with washboard stomachs who look like they’re about to jump on a surfboard.”
Abercrombie & Fitch CEO Mike Jeffries
It’s a sentiment that Jeffries is not at all ashamed of. In an 2006 interview with Salon, the CEO explained his exclusionary practices. “In every school there are the cool and popular kids, and then there are the not-so-cool kids,” he said. “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. 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.”
Jeffries also openly admitted that Abercrombie & Fitch tries only to hire those deemed beautiful enough to work in the stores. “It’s almost everything,” he said. “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.”
Are you cool with Abercrombie & Fitch’s “cool people only” policy?