That partially melted penis candle and Abercrombie & Fitch CEO Mike Jeffries dislikes the idea of fat people wearing A&F’s overpriced hoodies is not news, as the mall store head has long been laboring under the delusion that people who are in any way “cool” shop at the mall and his store in particular.
Jeffries (who seems to be exhibiting the horrible effects of a combination of cash, possible Body Dysmorphic Disorder and Jocelyn Wildenstein excessive levels of plastic surgery) may not be much to look at, but as Abercrombie CEO, he does wield a certain amount of power over teen markets before teens can go off to college and not be forced to don mall wear.
Does he use it for good? Nah, the middle-aged wannabe perma-teen instead has long been employing his position as Abercrombie head to be a total jerk to kids who don’t fit in — mainly fat kids, and mainly girls. Because men who marginalize and shame female children are always the most secure and not-evil.
In the past, the following words fell out of Jeffries’ grossly misshapen mouth as he discussed A&F’s marketing strategy, which amounts to “no fatties.” (Though given the cost of Abercrombie clothes relative to their quality, one might be tempted to call it a “cruelty tax.”)
Jeffries said last year:
“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.”
No mention of fat people, but a definite looks binary that seems to exclude variation in what is “good looking” overall, as if there’s one way — though we have to ask, how did Jeffries get the job then, because … ?
Anyway, Jeffries wants you and your fat ass to know that no matter how much further removed from the hell that was high school you are now, people like him still want to enforce the primitive social structure and also, screw you fatties.
That the Abercrombie CEO doesn’t like fat women is fine, everyone is entitled to an opinion and a marketing strategy. That he’s working out this body hate (after moving on from his own deformed face) to diffuse it over teen girls? Not so much.
Here’s what Jeffries said back in 2006 about the A&F marketing strategy — which works so well the brand is floundering right now:
“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. 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.”
Generally, excitement over excluding people results in Klan rallies and racist country clubs, but okay, Mike Jeffries.
The issue is at hand again this week after the author of The New Rules Of Retail, Robin Lewis, confirmed that Jeffries’ ugly marketing strategy is meant particularly to exclude fat girls — because fat guys can be like, athletes or something:
“He doesn’t want larger people shopping in his store, he wants thin and beautiful people … 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.’”
“Abercrombie is only interested in people with washboard stomachs who look like they’re about to jump on a surfboard.”
Do you think Abercrombie CEO Mike Jeffries’ stance on fat girls is harmful to teens as a whole?