So I was just walking through the mall last week and distinctly remember passing an Abercrombie & Fitch store. I looked in and thought to myself “OMG, I can’t believe there are actually human beings in the world that fit those clothes!” Well, looks like all that is by design, thanks to their jerk-face CEO.
Anyone who’s been to Abercrombie & Fitch in the last few years has probably noticed that they don’t carry XL or XXL sizes of women’s clothing because they don’t want overweight women wearing their brand.
According to the retailer, fat chicks will just never be a part of the “in” crowd.
They take a big risk with this tactic because two of Abercrombie’s biggest competitors, H&M and American Eagle, both offer XXL sizes for men and women.
The largest women’s pants available at Abercrombie are a size 10, while H&M goes up to 16 and American Eagle goes even farther to 18.
Abercrombie’s attitude towards plus-sized women derives from CEO Mike Jeffries. Robin Lewis, author of The New Rules of Retail, spoke to Business Insider about the kind of people Jeffries wants advertising his brand.
“He doesn’t want larger people shopping in his store, he wants thin and beautiful people,” Lewis said. “He doesn’t want his core customers to see people who aren’t as hot as them wearing his clothing. People who wear his clothing should feel like they’re one of the ‘cool kids.’”
Lewis said that the only reason Abercrombie offers XL and XXL in men’s sizes is to appeal to large athletes. (AKA more “cool kids”)
In a 2006 interview, Jeffries confirmed that the link 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 [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 said.
Hmm…sounds like alienation to me!
After all this “sexy cool people” talk, you might wonder what this Mike Jeffries character looks like…
Sexy? GAWD NO!
After seeing a picture of Mike Jeffries, it can only be concluded that he was never around good-looking people as a kid and is now making up for the glamorous youth he wishes he had….which is why he officially runs the douchiest brand in America.