Abercrombie & Fitch Won’t Make Clothes For Fat Women Because They Aren’t “Cool”

UPDATE 5/16/13: Abercrombie and Fitch have now released a statement from CEO Mike Jeffries supposedly apologizing and back peddling. He says that quote was from 7 years ago (umm, so you mean you DID still say it?) and taken out of context. That A&F are committed to diversity, against discrimination and bullying and consider themselves an aspirational brand. Our thoughts? It seems it is too little too late, the damage has been done. Read it and let us know your thoughts below!

A&F apology


We came across this horrendous piece of press and thought we would share, especially if you buy from this store frequently.

Michael Jeffries , the CEO of clothing giant Abercrombie and Fitch has spoken out about his decision not to manufacture clothing for larger women or just larger sizes in general.

His response, though it sounds like it’s a joke, sadly isn’t. A&F’s aggressive pursuit of the preppy, highly-sexed 18- to 22-year-old demographic is largely down to its 68-year-old CEO, who explained his strategy to Salon in 2006.

“That’s why we hire good-looking people in our stores,” Jeffries said. “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 went on: “In every school there are the cool and popular kids, and then there are the not-so-cool kids. 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.”

It seems he is only shooting his own company in the foot, as most of America’s clothes-buying population now fall into the plus-size category, US size 14 and above. There are no women’s trousers larger than a 10 on offer at A&F, whose size chart runs only from Extra Small to Large. By contrast, its leading competitors H&M and American Eagle offer up to sizes 16 and 18 respectively.

It seems this old man is really in touch with what young people want these days…

Abercrombie & Fitch CEO

Seems he needs to back to the research room and figure out a new definition of “cool” as his is very limited and prejudiced. Act your age Michael Jeffries!

He said in an interview with Salon in 2006, he found all-around inclusion unnecessary because while “You don’t alienate anybody, but you don’t excite anybody, either.”

If his brand of elitism and exclusion is what is considered “cool” then count us out. Consider us the dorky outcasts who would rather associate with real people with better attitudes. It’s funny, he must have his “C” words mixed up. He must mean controversy, because that’s what he has been bringing to A&F and what it is known for more than its all-American wholesome-ness.

In 2004 A&F settled a $40m (£26m) class-action discrimination lawsuit in the US, after accusations that it filled its shop floors with almost exclusively white staff. Five years later, Riam Dean, a British student born without a left forearm, won £9,000 from the firm after she was forced to work in a stock-room, where she wouldn’t be seen by customers. Last year, a leaked company email revealed that employees at the chain’s Milan store were made to perform military-style exercises, such as push-ups and squats, in order to maintain their toned physiques.

Hey folks, this is the face of “cool”:


Will you boycott this store now you know a little more behind the company’s ethics and standards? Is this CEO doing the right thing for the brand or harming it?


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