Kandyce Hall |Staff Writer|
Clothing line Abercrombie and Fitch received heavy scrutiny May 13 after a controversial interview with CEO Mike Jeffries resurfaced in the media, claiming to market to an exclusive audience.
“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,” said Jeffires in his interview in 2006, according to The Huffington Post.
Jeffries continued by saying, “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.”
In recent weeks, the general public has protested against the company’s mission and spoke out against Abercrombie and Fitch’s failure to accommodate a larger audience.
On May 13, a group of teenagers caused a media frenzy after protesting outside of a Chicago store for social equality for all body types.
Megan Glavin, a 16-year-old protestant at the Chicago store, said, “I think the greater point that I’m protesting for is, in general, no one should be defined by their size or how they look or how many friends they have in high school,” reported wtvm.com.
Abercrombie and Fitch offers fitting ranges from extra-small to large in tops, and 00 to 10 in bottoms. The average woman wears a size 14 and 67 percent U.S. of shoppers are plus sized, according to abcnew.go.com.
The company’s refusal to offer larger clothing sizes has created a backlash of online petitions on Facebook and Twitter that have urged people to stop shopping at Abercrombie and Fitch until it offers larger sizes.
Mother’s like Andrea Neusner took action against Abercrombie and Fitch. Neusner and her three daughters emptied their closets of all A&F clothing and sent it to Jeffries along with a letter expressing why she would not let her children wear their clothing reported, abcnews.go.com.
According to the Los Angeles Times, USC graduate Greg Karper started “Fitch The Homeless,” a YouTube video that shows Karper collecting Abercrombie and Fitch clothing from Goodwill stores and distributing them to the homeless on Los Angeles’ skid row, in an attempt to affect the brands image. Karper has asked other people to join the campaign and share their experiences on social media using the hash tag #FitchtheHomeless.
Students on campus shared their views on size options offered by the company.
“I tried on shorts in Abercrombie before but I didn’t buy them because they fit like underwear,” said student Vivian Agboba. “I want to wear short’s not briefs.”
“In high school I would see my friends buying clothing form A&F and […] I would never be able to find anything in the store that would fit me, so I never shopped there.” said student Marlene Noriega. “
Other students stated why they choose not to shop there. “It’s just not the image I want to be associated with,” said student Kelsey Ali.
Abercrombie and Fitch have chosen not to comment.