The internet seems to be in an uproar of Abercrombie & Fitch’s newest insult, large people (specifically women) shouldn’t wear their clothes. At least the company is honest about their brand and expectations.
Communications expert, Tim Miles, author of Good Company: Making It, Keeping It, and Being It wrote in his blog, the Daily Blur that A&F is the anti-Dove, anti-inclusive. He goes on to explain why this is good business and advertising for the A&F brand.
“I think public protests outside their stores would make CEO Jeffries squeal with glee,” Miles wrote. “He welcomes this publicity as a siren song to his shallow end of the pool.”
Miles is 100 percent right.
A&F seems to have the spotlight every few years whether it’s with their hiring practices (or firing practices), the outlandish and teen-coveted, sexualized magazine or a $50 T-shirt with an explicit message (see the entire product criticism on the A&F wikipedia page).
The main point is that the general public and media are talking about A&F and all those conversations just make the cool kids want to buy the clothes and others to see what they’re missing.
Exclusion is nothing new for A&F and it isn’t hurting the business bottom line. It may not be ethical, kind or bettering the world in any way, but is selling clothes, albeit skimpy, overly expensive clothes.
Vote with consumer dollars, if you don’t like their business practices, you don’t have to shop there. Just be wary of forbidding your teenagers from shopping at A&F, it will probably lead to them buying the clothes and telling you they’re borrowing it from their bestie. (Not that I ever did that myself…)
Full disclosure: I interviewed for a job at A&F in college. I made the mistake of not wearing a full, current season A&F outfit to the interview (apparently an A&F t-shirt and A&F jeans weren’t enough, I was supposed to wear the jewelry, perfume and flip-flops too) and ultimately wasn’t hired.