Abercrombie and Fitch CEO gives me my long-awaited reason to hate them: they don’t want you if you’re not skinny.

I’ve never had anything against Abercrombie and Fitch, other than the fact that most of the people I’ve met in my life who wear their brand turned out to be pretentious and insufferable.  But you can’t blame a clothing company for the character of the people who buy their clothes.  But still, there was a little, guilty part of me, deep down, that internally rolled its eyes whenever I saw the words “Abercrombie and Fitch”.

Well now I have a reason to full-on hate the company.  In explaining why they don’t stock sizes for people who aren’t skinny, like other retailers, CEO Mike Jeffries said:

In a 2006 interview with Salon, Jeffries himself said that his business was built around sex appeal.

“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,” Jeffries said.

Jeffries also told Salon that he wasn’t bothered by excluding some customers.

“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.”

Jeffries said he thinks that including everyone would make his business boring.

Because apparently kids who aren’t skinny as all hell cannot be attractive, all-Americans with great attitudes and lots of friends.  Who knew that so much was derived from one’s waste line?  Are you a virtuous person who feels compassion for others and who excels at your chosen vocation?  Do you make children smile and volunteer at the local food shelter?  Sorry, those things aren’t as American as starving yourself, and I hope you weren’t planning on making any friends until you trim a few pounds.

What an asshole.  I mean, it’s his business and he can run it however he wants, but this attitude doesn’t save you from being boring – it just makes you an asshole.

FAITH: Jesus is not the answer to this question.
POLITICS: Boehner calls Obama an “anti-war President.”
POLITICS & GAY RIGHTS: Arkansas about to pass an anti-gay law just like Indiana’s.
About JT Eberhard

When not defending the planet from inevitable apocalypse at the rotting hands of the undead, JT is a writer and public speaker about atheism, gay rights, and more. He spent two and a half years with the Secular Student Alliance as their first high school organizer. During that time he built the SSA’s high school program and oversaw the development of groups nationwide. JT is also the co-founder of the popular Skepticon conference and served as the events lead organizer during its first three years.

  • http://twitter.com/HeatherLynn117 Heather Dawn Lynn

    This business approach isn’t novel. American Apparel does the same thing. You’re definitely free never, ever to buy their clothes.

    • http://twitter.com/andybeals Andy Beals

      American Apparel’s catalogs are racier than Playboy prior to the early 1970s.

  • BentleyOwen

    It’s weird to me that our culture is obsessed with (and re-enforces) the peculiar hierarchies of high school, and yet is so confused about how they work. They are not based on “popularity” or “having a lot of friends.” Most people have more friends than they know what to do with at that age. When you see teenagers wondering around a mall at 4 in the afternoon with no particular aim other than spending time with one another, do you assume they’re an elite group? I don’t. I figure they’re probably average teenagers.

    The word “popular” is a misnomer that is widely applied to the most privileged group at any given high school, who gain social status through participation in certain activities (football, student council, cheerleading) that the school prioritizes. Many of them come from families with money (A&F is an expensive store). This does not mean that they are well-liked, though. They might not even have more friends than the average students, just more people who know their names.

    There are some kids who have few or no friends, though. I was one for the first year or so of high school, after having been home-schooled through 8th grade. Some kids had it worst. Some kids go through their entire school careers without the social stimulation many of us took for granted at that age. Figuring out a way to appeal to them would be more challenging and interesting than appealing to the group our society and education system already place on a pedestal.

  • Machintelligence

    Damn. I’m old enough to remember when Ambercrombie and Fitch was a high end sporting goods store. One of the joys of the Christmas season was going into downtown Chicago to see Marshall Field’s (they are gone too, swallowed up by Macy’s) and check out the gun room at A & F to dream about going on a safari one day. Now it is known for overpriced clothing and racy catalogs. Bleech!

  • Glodson

    I guess they want to make sure they corner the Douchebag Demographic.

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/John-Evans/1017276335 John Evans

    One reason why I most often shop at Marks Work Wearhouse. Clothes made to be stylish and hard wearing – practicality and quality first.

  • http://twitter.com/Alexis1Stevens Alexis Stevens

    Seems to me he’s trying to relive his own failures in high school by trying to be “popular” now. Grow up.

  • http://twitter.com/Chimako_27 Chimako
  • Guest

    uhmmm… it’s defintely a douchbag comment, but the writer got it very… personal?( i’m not trying to offend you) it says the “good looking” people, the popular ones, but he never said the skinny or thin. The post seems to show (with no intention i guess) another prejudice “to be good looking, you have to be skinny” or “if you’re not skinny you can’t be popular”.

    • Glodson

      Read the article linked.

      It’s not surprising that Abercrombie excludes plus-sized women considering the attitude of CEO Mike Jeffries, said Robin Lewis, co-author of The New Rules of Retail and CEO of newsletter The Robin Report. “He doesn’t want larger people shopping in his store, he wants thin and beautiful people,” Lewis told Business Insider.

      “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.’”

      This idea was taken from the article. The quote in this posting only sets up what the mindset of the CEO is like. They don’t stock any sizes larger than size 10 women’s jeans. And they don’t carry anything over XL. This isn’t something we are inferring form the quote. This is the actual evidence, and the quote illustrates this line of reasoning.

    • Artor

      The whole piece wasn’t quoted here. The skinny remarks are very clearly stated in other articles.

  • Loqi

    I didn’t really need another reason to hate A&F. Not only are they the go-to brand for douchebags, but their store (at least at MoA) smells like someone gave a particularly gassy individual an enema with cheap cologne and made him fart into the ventilation system. It stinks up the whole area around them and keeps me from visiting nearby stores.

  • Matthew Ostergren

    Wow A&F stinks even more than I thought it did. I already hated the place for being pretentious and overpriced, but now it seems even worse.

  • Matt

    This needs to happen at every store:


    • Glodson
      • John H

        I was looking everywhere for this skit the other day and you found it!!! Thank you!

        • Glodson

          Ha, happy to help.

  • http://www.facebook.com/john.conolley John Conolley

    Waist line.

  • http://twitter.com/EvilLance Evil Lance

    Yeah, as if a person’s worth should be determined by size or friend count. I haven’t seen people wear A&F in a long time. Surprised they’re still in business.