Posted in: Fashion

Abercrombie & Fitch CEO Slams ‘Uncool’ Fatties, Looks Like His Face Melted

mike jeffries A&F

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?”

He continues:

“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.'”

Lewis concludes:

“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?

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Comments

80 Responses to “Abercrombie & Fitch CEO Slams ‘Uncool’ Fatties, Looks Like His Face Melted”

  1. Carissa M.

    Whoa. Someone needs to give that dude a refresher in business strategy and…maybe some chocolate. I don't understand why this guy is completely disregarding a whole other slew of body/personality types, and the profit attached to it (looking at it from a business perspective). THIS GUY IS DUMB. Why, simply because he doesn't think a certain body size attached to a specific audience is…"cool"? See folks, this is the kind of attitude that many of our hard-earned dollars go to. Know where you shop. Don't keep supporting this kind of drivel, it's pretty freakin' sad.

  2. Bren Coombs

    Obviously the guy is butt hurt from either being fat, or un-cool, or both, in school and is trying to be part of the "in" crowd via his stores.

  3. Carissa M.

    Totally, and he's purely defensive in all of what he's saying. Many of the folks I know that went through the "oh geez I don't fit in" stage (me included) have grown up to be people who accept others regardless of social standing or looks. You'd think this guy would have done the same thing, but nope, didn't happen and at his age I don't expect it to. I'm usually the optimist, but seriously. He's cutting off his nose to spite his face. He shouldn't be enforcing the same negativity he's been through; then again, his strategy has worked, and I really hate to admit that. Now that his views are public, I sincerely hope fans of the label will think twice about what they are buying into.

  4. Julie Dutch

    And there goes any chance of me buying any A&F gift cards or items for my very petite friends and niece. Does he forget who controls most of the clothing budgets/shopping in a household? Jerk.

  5. Rebecca Henllan-Jones

    Not only does it hurt "fat" girls but "normal" " average" girls that might want jeans over a size 10…. Which is quite average. But after this I would hope any parent (who is usually the one buying the clothes for their awesome skinny minis) would think twice about supporting such ideas….

  6. Jamie Hill Harrop

    and this is why I don't let my daughter shop there

  7. Mike Hultin

    To be completely objective, his business model is exactly how marketing works. Welcome to the US consumer age, circa 2013. Get used to it – there will be more of this. It's not just A&F, most TV shows and movies do the same thing along with popular music.

  8. Will Kozar

    Agree with him completely. Fat people suck.

  9. Holly Kimbrell

    Douche. Way to instigate and egg on more bullying.

  10. Karen Canfield Maskens

    you know a bunch of people need to do flashmobs all over the country one day to "invade AF" Go in, sit around let your bellies hang out and eat right in the middle of the store. LOL. Try on really small stuff, stretch it out.:)

  11. Lisa Alabaksh

    I think he is a vacuous, insecure man with a host of personal issues. Nothing particularly exceptional about that except that he has a great deal of marketing power and once again, it's the young people being made to feel rubbish. The cruelty towards girls and the destruction of their self esteem may be good for profits

  12. Lisa Alabaksh

    But it's not a great strategy for the long term well being of any society.

  13. Stacy Manganiello

    This guy is a creepy as they come. A big botoxed Peter Pan who never grew up, and is sending an awful message to the young people of this world. There is enough bullying going on , to be again bullied by corporates. I have to make sure my little ones heads are turned if we walk past that store, the male models zippers are down to their balls. The smart thing to do , is BOYCOTT!

  14. Stacy Manganiello

    This guy is a creepy as they come. A big botoxed Peter Pan who never grew up, and is sending an awful message to the young people of this world. There is enough bullying going on , to be again bullied by corporates. I have to make sure my little ones heads are turned if we walk past that store, the male models zippers are down to their balls. The smart thing to do , is BOYCOTT!

  15. Kerry Lassiter

    Folks, this "fatty" issue is trivial.

    More than 600 people died in Bangladesh, in factories leased or owned by companies like Abercrombie and Fitch, when the building collapsed on them last week.

    A&F outsources American jobs and the manufacture of American goods to Third World nations like Bangladesh, where people earn pennies a day, in corrugated metal huts, with no air conditioning, manufacturing A&F clothing that is then shipped back to the U.S. and sold at hefty prices.

    Just remember this…

    If you claim to be a proud, patriotic American, then you're selling out our nation and its values, our economic principles, and the men and women who still work in America's garment and fashion industries, if you buy your clothes from companies like A&F.

    It is anti-American to buy from A&F and any other American-owned company that ships its jobs and manufacturing overseas to places like Bangladesh, China, Taiwan, the Mariana Islands, etc.

  16. Lisa Alabaksh

    The idea of it has made my day! I really hope it happens ;)

  17. Lisa Alabaksh

    I'm so sorry for you Will. You must be very lonely.

  18. Paul Beasley

    hahahahaha yeah I'd say that's pretty rude people just don't have any manners these days sometimes you're thinking wtf !¡ :-)

  19. Peter Suarez

    I'm not ashamed. I'm 60 years young and lost 20 pounds just so I can get into a 32 waist super skinny tight ass dungaree. They still call them that, don't they?

  20. Tricia Price

    A man who has a face only a mother could love dares to speak this way about larger people!!??? ….revolting!!!!

  21. Becky Fowler

    I agree Tricia!!!! Revolting is right!!! This man is SICKENING!!!!!!

  22. DawnM Simons

    He thinks this is a good marketing ploy. By making it exclusive it is more desirable and the thin and beautiful(who always have money of course) will pay anything to wear THEIR name. Asshat.

  23. DawnM Simons

    and there is absolutely nothing wrong with that. But I bet you were beautiful before you lost the weight. A size 10 is not fat. My daughter is a size 5 and says she is fat. WHAT?! and it's asshats like this "melting penis candle" that perpetuate that feeling

  24. Lisa Buel

    Mike Jeffries, your a pig that looks like your ass is on your face! I will never buy another piece of clothing from your store ever again, and I will post and repost until everyone I know does the same. I want my children to be healthy eaters not wind up with anorexia because of your sick idea of a perfect body. I can't believe how pissed off you made me. Grrr Karma fuckhead just watch!

  25. Courtney Leigh Roberts

    I remember once I walked into an AmberCrombie and Bitch store when a guy working there said "um Hot Topic is over there" gesturing out the door. I was only walking in the store cause my friend was. I never would buy such plain expensive clothes but the fact all I had to do was walk in before I was judged just says something about this store. The fact he would say stuff like this doesn't surprise me but it is disgusting. The store needs to be boycotted.

  26. Ashley Marie Montvidas

    Every company has a marketing strategy and certain demographics that work best for them. Sure, he might be blunt about who he is trying to target, ignorant on his wording choices, and have an incredibly hideous face, but he does have a point…companies aren't supposed to target everyone. There are plenty of stores geared towards plus-sized women ONLY. You don't see fit/skinny people having a heart attack because nothing in a plus-size store will fit them properly. It goes both ways.

  27. Sara Smyth

    I'm not giving going to donate the clothes we have from this store. They are getting burned to pieces. I hope your store tanks and lawsuits come out of your ass.

  28. Alex McCormick Steimer

    LOL…..that idea is soooo awesome!!!! You totally made my day!!!!

  29. Alex McCormick Steimer

    LOL…..that idea is soooo awesome!!!! You totally made my day!!!!

  30. Deborah Yi

    That's true, but while every company has a target market, he could have used a better way to explain who his target market is. Lane Bryant doesn't sell clothes for skinny women, but their CEO doesn't do interviews saying, "We don't want skinny b!#ches in our stores." It's bad PR and a horrible way of thinking.

  31. Steve Lipscomb

    What a total scumbag! Does anyone know that the REAL Abercrombie & Fitch was a very high end sporting good store that sold expensive shotguns and hunting apparel to the likes of Gary Cooper and Ernest Hemingway? How did it ever become the name of a store for overpriced garbage?

  32. James Knight

    There's absolutely nothing wrong with looking like Gary Busey with Down's syndrome… unless you make millions of dollars encouraging narrowly commercial stereotypes of beauty.

  33. Eric Ubaldini

    If post surgery carrot-top fucked big bird in the ass & they had a baby, it would look exactly like Mr. Jeffries. Let’s face it, you weren't hot or cool in high school, and you still aren't. You may have a ton of money, but I would rather be poor & fat than go down in history as the "highest paid, worst performing" CEO of all time. Enjoy your face. Dude.

  34. Teresa Evans Kaestner

    By the way he looks.. he must have been the fat, ugky neerdy kIds on school and tries do hard to change that aspect of himself and he is only making himself look worse. .. dude Kay off of the facelifts, tucks and botox!!!

  35. Juan Sazh Rogers

    Oh well. It's already a store for toolbags obviously, without even knowing anything about the CEO. Any brand that specializes in making shirts that… say the brand name on it and then drag up prices for a T-shirt with a name on it is for douche-bags, by douche-bags.

  36. Tricia Price

    It looks like it is made of wax!!! And it's butt ugly!!!

  37. Adia Snyder

    There is nothing special about their clothes. Hopefully by the time my daughter grows up, this store will be out of business. It's one thing to stop at a certain size, but it's another thing to announce your hateful reasoning for stopping at a certain size. If Victoria Secrets started only carrying bras C cup and up and announced they would no longer carry bras for A and B cups because women with small boobs are unworthy of wearing Victoria Secrets, there would be riots! Or even the other way around. They could stop at C cups and say women with large boobs are unflattering and they don't want them in their stores, there would be riots.

  38. Lori Brawn

    He has a ugly heart which always shows up on the outside…and for this man in more ways than one!!

  39. Sam Jones

    Obviously he won't be on "Undercover Boss" any time soon. If AF only hires "hot" "cool" people then that episode is definitely a NO GO!

  40. Lia HunnyBadger Nelson

    Kinda have to wonder how this mutant feels about folks with really bad plastic surgery being in his stores.

  41. Sharon Edwardsbillings

    In days past, many had the same feelings about the store. Maybe, that is part of the reason that their popularity has waned. Shameful words to say to a young girl. Don't give those words your power – RELEASE.

  42. Chris Sims

    I like the flash mob idea! But im upset that I have to get rid of my favorite long sleeve shirt. I never knew about this company's arrogance and ass-hole promoting head….maybe the botox is affecting his brain? Besides, i like bacon and this guy probably wouldnt want to have his products displayed with the amount of pizza sauce, bacon grease and ranch stains that i have on it….

  43. Courtney Leigh Roberts

    Yes it was very stupid of him to say and I know a lot of people are extremely upset. I must definitely won't give in to the words though. Thank you Mrs. Billings!

  44. Keri Blauvelt

    Sorrrry babe, I was on the Internet on my phone and your Facebook must of never signed off before… And I commented on this. Didn't know it would post on your Facebook. :b

  45. Anonymous

    What an ugly fuck! Believing people who are overweight or not attractive enough to wear A&F is bullshit I've seen people many people who are overweight who look way more attractive looking than his ugly ass.

  46. Monica Latrice Watson

    Middle aged? He's 68, according to wikiepdia (unless that was a joke).

  47. Lily Catherine Frey

    Dude, if I was not actually in shape, I would so do that!

  48. Lily Catherine Frey

    That's great! But while I applaud people for getting in shape, I think this kind of thing is DEPLORABLE. It helps start eating disorders, body dismorphia, and poor self-esteem, making the clothes just for the "elites".

  49. Lily Catherine Frey

    Not only do I abhor the idea of anyone promoting elitism and low self esteem among those who are not in the "in-crowd" (as if there isn't enough of that in middle and high school, right?) as well as being very angry about anyone who promotes body dismorphia (and anoroxia/bullemia, the former I had in HS), but it's a poor marketing strategy.

    The idea should be "Shop here, because these clothes will MAKE you COOL", not "You have to be cool to shop here". So cut off 90-95% of people who aren't "elite" enough so that only 5-10% of the population would even be "cool enough" to buy your brand? BRILLIANT! Less sales! (Not to mention the crappily-made clothes that look not too much better than Wal Mart clothes, but cost 5x more, probably made in some terrible sweatshop like the one in Bangladesh).

    And mind you, I'm a C-student majoring in art… where did this guy graduate from that turns out CEOs with STUPID marketing ideas like this? I'm just saying.

  50. Jennifer Redwine

    I think VS stops at a D cup, which excludes larger breasted women, and it stops at 38 for the band size, which exludes larger women, so yeah, they only appeal to a very narrow range.

  51. Patti Reynolds

    Everyone who says they won't shop there anymore, don't forget they own Hollister, too!

  52. Adia Snyder

    No. VS stops at 40DDD. They may not carry in some stores, but they do online. Lane Bryant don't carry tall sizes in my area because there isn't a large demand for them, but you can order them online. Even though VS only carries to a 40DDD, they haven't come out to say "Women who wear band sizes larger than 40 are disgusting and we don't want them in our store." Most of the time large chested women special order their bras or have them made *raises hand* because places like VS specialize in cute factor instead of support factor. lol

  53. Marlana Hobden

    Jennifer, I don't know where you got the idea that they stop at D cup from. Because I'm a DD…and I get my bras from there. ;-) Do your research!