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Abercrombie & Fitch CEO Doesn't Want Overweight People Wearing Their Clothes

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Abercrombie & Fitch CEO doesn't want overweight people to wear his clothes

Rude!

Abercrombie & Fitch doesn't stock women's clothing in XL or XXL sizes because they don't want anybody who doesn't fit their particular body ideal to wear their clothing!

Robin Lewis, co-author of The New Rules of Retail blames Abercrombie CEO Mike Jeffries' personal attitude toward overweight people as the reason for the lack of plus-sized clothing on the racks.

He recently said:

"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."

Also, according to Lewis, Abercrombie offers men's sizes in XL and XXL to appeal to more athletic builds, but the author doubts that the company will ever sway from its size-ist standards.

Jeffries himself admitted as much in a 2006 interview, 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 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."

Hmm. We're not sure this particular strategy is working too well, because H&M and American Eagle, which just happen to be Abercrombie's main competition, seem to be doing quite well by being inclusive.

Abercrombie also doesn't stock women's pants above a size 10 while H&M and American Eagle stock pants up to sizes 16 and 18, respectively.

It could be argued that H&M is actually bigger and more successful than Abercrombie (just take a look at their campaign stars!), and they don't practice any of this "exclusionary" nonsense whatsoever.

We wouldn't wanna shop anywhere that could be so prejudiced.

Thoughts???

[Image via WENN.]

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155 comments to “Abercrombie & Fitch CEO Doesn't Want Overweight People Wearing Their Clothes”

More comments: « 1 [2]

  1. Cat says – reply to this


    101

    So…this guy doesn't like money is what he's saying? Doesn't he know that extremely tall/athletic built girls might buy an XL or if someone fits a Large who wants a looser fit, or has big boobs? I guess you don't have to be smart to start a clothing company. Someone tell him a smaller person can have a busted face too! Or he could just figure it out by looking in the mirror, and realizing that his demographic really only reaches spoilt 15 year olds anyway



  2. 102

    Funny how he says he doesn't want ugly people wearing his clothes, but he himself looks terrible!!!! With or without plastic surgery, he's fugly!!

  3. InGreatShape says – reply to this


    103

    He' right. Was his message strong? No. People are just getting fat and lazy and we know the health issues. It's just like when someone screws you like Obama.



  4. 104

    I wonder if you are one of those mean girls.



  5. 105

    I agree with you completely. We had a discussion about this in my classroom and the kids stated that we need to boycott this store.

  6. Bailey says – reply to this


    106

    HAHA oh abercrombie oh stupid can you be! you just lost alot of business becuase of your stupid remarks. The clothes are fabulous and a market for teens but have you thought about americans are mostly over weight and why is that because it's cheaper to eat unhealthy then health. If you made plus size you would have more MONEY comin in but of course your not as smart as other company's. Have you other but it in thought that alot of people aren't overwright by choice? Some actually take MEDS where it makes them put on some weight. How ignorant can you be! Selfish human beging what a shame, No more shopping nor any of my friends shopping there again you just lost major money coming in. All clothes thrown away!

  7. Geraldine says – reply to this


    107

    Fat people can lose weight and fit into this company's crappy clothes, but Mike Jeffries (CEO) needs lots of surgery to be at least… decent looking. Please, somebody, give him a f*cking mirror!!!

  8. spicymama says – reply to this


    108

    Just who the hell do you think us buying these cool and popular good looking kids clothes that's right the same people society calls overweight.

  9. Jillian says – reply to this


    109

    Damn asshole. I am a 15 year old female standing at a height of 5'10 1/2"
    I have a large athletic frame ( and I'm not talking about wimpy female frames I'm talking about a rowers body) extremely muscular but have close to zero fat on my body.. I'm not a highschool soccer athlete I actually weight train…. Not the adverage body type but whatever… And I'm a size 14. Large hips measuring 41" but a waits measuring 28" this man has no right to call anyone over a fucking size 10 fat. He feeding girls with larger bone structures negative messages. He'll if I were a size ten I would be severely underweight at an anerexic level and wouldn't be able to walk around the block without passing out . I hope the asshole reads this because he has got himself in way over his head

    He better get his fucking head out of his ass its not a fucking hat. I'm not a frail skinny girl but I'm just as beautiful you low life son of a bitch

  10. katdawg19986 says – reply to this


    110

    Its funny, the country of America is obese. 67% of consumers in america are overweight. Abercrombie isn't even "style" its conformity, and anyone tricking themsevles into thinking wearing a shirt with "Abercrombie" scrawlled acrosse the front is simply more free advirtising for this idiotic person who calls himself a CEO. If this nimrod had any sense, he would make abigget size, not just so girls feel better about themselves, but so this bastard could make some money.

  11. Ashley says – reply to this


    111

    Re: Brad – I'm sorry, but being obese does not necessarily mean that you have an eating disorder. For example, I went to high school with a girl whose medication caused her to gain weight regardless of her calorie intake. People with thyroid problems can also gain weight easily even if they eat healthy foods and exercise. Some people are overweight because they are taller and have a larger bone structure. There are many reasons why a person may become overweight or obese without over-eating, and therefore having an eating disorder and being obese do not go hand in hand. Your comment was incredibly ignorant and you should probably re-think what you've said.

  12. Ashley says – reply to this


    112

    The reason that this is so outrageous is not only that the CEO is saying "fat" people don't belong in A&F apparel, but rather that he is implying that the only people who are "cool" or "good looking" are those who are thin. Anyone on this planet who has half a brain should know that what makes a person "cool" is their personality - not their body. As for being good-looking, people are attracted to different things - some people do prefer those who are thin, yes, but some people prefer those who are overweight, and some people prefer whoever they have a connection with. It may sound cliche, but beauty really is in the eye of the beholder. Maybe Mike Jeffries is attracted only to those who are thin. That's his right. It's his company, and he can certainly keep these policies in place if he wants to, but it would benefit him and his company to keep an open mind on what counts as beautiful.

  13. Allie says – reply to this


    113

    Is he implying that if you above a size 10 in pants or a Large in shirts, that your not beautiful? No wonder Abercrombie isn't so popular anymore. I don't see anyone wearing those clothes anymore. I only saw them wear Abercrombie in middles school. Oh wait, probably cause middle schoolers are basically the only people who can FIT into those clothes.

  14. Allie says – reply to this


    114

    Re: candied20 – Obviously we don't wanna make obese people think that it's okay to be so overweight, but you can be an average healthy weight and still need sizes bigger than a large or size 10. And this guy isn't saying all this from a "health" point of view. He's saying it about appearance. He says if your bigger than size 10 or a large, then you aren't beautiful, which is totally wrong.



  15. 115

    i think you wrote it well. the comparison was nice and yeah! i agree those other ones seem to be doing better. and it's always better to be nicer

  16. bekkibear says – reply to this


    116

    i am a bigger person and i can honestly say that i agree that he has the right to sell the clothes he wants, as it is his store. if people buy it is another matter. i guess it is there choice if they want to walk into a store and find themselves humiliated for not being skinny enough. after hearing what he said i would just stay away from that store. soon enough nobody will go there and the company will die with his horrible remarks. of course there will still be 'those few' people who will go there, but the profits won't be enough so eventually he will close down.

    i do not agree with his methods of promoting either. i'm pretty sure he didn't need to make rude remarks like he did to stop people from coming into his store. he already did that when he didn't make bigger sizes. let's face it, he just wanted to stick it to everyone, if you noticed, women in particular. it doesn't matter if bigger people wear it and it doesn't look so great. models already take care of all the advertising and certain clothes are always going to look better on some people than others depending on your body shape. the fact that he doesn't make a size above ten is the concern as not even the popular girls at school who were considered healthy, skinny and beautiful could wear those clothes.

  17. bekkibear says – reply to this


    117

    yet it get's worse when placing a job at one of his stores. yea okay, he has the right to hire who he wants, but i think he is getting a bit over the top about looks as mentioned. as soon as someone just gains a little bit of weight it's a problem? they could still wear the clothes but if they don't stay at the exact same weight they are fired. that's the worst excuse to fire someone let alone try and gain some control over people, which i believe what a lot of this is all about. what about people who are pregnant, are you going to be prejudice against them as well.

    these ideas are everything that is wrong with society. they teach our youth that being different is not okay, and the fact of the matter is, everyone is different, if they can help it or not. people can be healthy and still be bigger, either it be by their boobs, thighs or waist. it is okay to be all sizes, even really skinny, which they still have problems finding clothes. who are you to discriminate?

  18. bekkibear says – reply to this


    118

    just think about all the possible insecurities i'm sure you have about yourself and how you would feel if someone were to make a big deal about them. people like him make these insecurities. don't you want to stop feeling like that?

    also, think about it in reverse. if the new healthy was being bigger and all the clothes were made for bigger people and people were discriminating you for being skinny, how would you feel? especially when it could be out of your control as a lot of people have mentioned. it may appear gross and unhealthy and everyone wants to be healthy and look good, but not everyone can.

  19. bekkibear says – reply to this


    119

    unless you want these people walking around naked there has to be clothes for them. that's why there are bigger women's clothes. You do not see bigger women's clothing stores however, discriminating skinnier people from coming into their store. again, it is their choice if they enter the store or not and with a lot of the remarks on this thread, i wouldn't want people like you walking into my store anyway, but that doesn't give him the right to say what he wants. you'll find, what most people here are annoyed about is his attitude towards people. besides, bigger sizes always look bigger on smaller people, so that's no way to judge if someone is unhealthy or not.

    this whole comments section should have ended ages ago. i think i have said enough for everyone. just don't go there anymore. why spread more hate. let the ignorant people believe what they will, as no words are going to change their minds.. that's why they are ignorant.

  20. Marilyn says – reply to this


    120

    "How does it feel to be one of the beautiful people?" Julian Lennon

  21. Sunsmilin says – reply to this


    121

    I think that it is crap. My cousin is a size 12 and she has abs of steel. The reality is that the average woman is a size 12 and being skinny doesn't equate to beauty, there are a lot of ugly skinny people. So I say, buy your clothes somewhere else, this is not a CEO that I want to use my money to line his pockets.

  22. Sunsmilin says – reply to this


    122

    Re: Lindsay – You are one fucked up individual….

  23. natti says – reply to this


    123

    wow what a jerk never going near that store again big or small lol

  24. Jasmine says – reply to this


    124

    thats actually hilarious, considering everything at Abercrombie & fitch looks the same. I'm a size 2-4 and i would never shop there because they dont understand fashion at all. everything in that store is the same and made of completely cheap material. after one wash its done. you need a damn flashlight to be able to manoeuvre around that store and the smell of perfume is so strong that most people with nostrils would have an allergy attack. they really shouldn't cut their customers like this because in a year or two this brand will be of the past. I'm a brand whore but Abercrombie & fitch is a cheap brand. honestly their style would suit over weight people since its all polo's and shorts in every colour of the rainbow.



  25. 125

    That's disgusting. Hope they go bankrupt soon.

  26. Logical One says – reply to this


    126

    Jeffries makes it clear that he was beaten up every day in high school, since he's so fixated on the idea of being one of the popular kids, so many decades later. And his sexist sizing policy is offensive and outrageous - it's OK for men to be huge, but women have to be thin or else they will be shown the door. The dude needs therapy. He seems to want to put his company out of business by preventing 3/4 of American women from becoming customers.

  27. Lis says – reply to this


    127

    Re: Nikki6 – that's because you're a kid. Wait until you grow up, then you'll understand.

  28. Lis says – reply to this


    128

    Re: Chelsea – I have never been in an A&F store or seen an ad or really give a shit about A&F because I'm not 16 with half a brain. I am a grown up who doesn't want to wear clothes with some bullshit logo on the front, looking like a cookie cutter exact duplicate of every other teen with no fashion sense.



  29. 129

    some of the comments are ignorant and very insulting. Ignorant for the very reason that some of you seem to think that every overweight person is overweight because of their eating habits. Some people are overweight because of health issues and the medications they are on. No matter how much they exercise or watch what they eat it is extremely hard to control their weight. A lot of those medications destroy your metabolism and cause Metabolic Disease, especially antidepressant medications. They also make you store excess amounts of sugar which then gets released into your bloodstream as insulin. Insulin makes your body store fat. Some people have gone from 120lbs to 200lbs in less than a year with these medications and that still happens even though you exercise and watch what you eat! I know because I happen to BE one of those people! I exercise and I have to watch what I eat because of blood sugar issues that were CAUSED by my medications! I also assure you that if it was an issue of what I eat I would still be 120lbs! Considering I consume around 1200 calories a day or less! The ONLY thing that changed was me being put on medication for an Anxiety Disorder. Research Seroquil and what it does to your health and body. So before you go judging or lumping ALL overweight people into your ignorant little pile, make sure you educate yourself first. It just makes you look shallow and stupid.



  30. 130

    Mike Jeffries better not look in the mirror…..he isn't one of those "beautiful" people! I'll never buy a thing in one of his stores…….

  31. Lauren says – reply to this


    131

    Was this a bad PR move? Absolutely, his words could have been chosen better but it's called business people. Anyone who has taken a marketing class understands brands have target market ie ideal consumers they want to reach. For AF these are affluent, young adults who fit a certain image.

    I don't hear people complaining that Lane Bryant doesn't sell clothes for skinny people, and why should they? It's not their core demographic. It's a business and if it leads to a profitable business for your sales objectives great! People get way too easily offended these days.

  32. laurieeeee says – reply to this


    132

    Do they even realize how many girls will become anorexic or bullemic because of this?

  33. Daryl says – reply to this


    133

    He is right, fat people shouldn't be allowed in public. Nobody wants to see the trash.

  34. Julie says – reply to this


    134

    Daryl is right, fat people are lazy pieces of crap.

  35. no2abersnobbie says – reply to this


    135

    Not all people who have weight issues are that way due to overeating. Some deal with problems due to health issues that make exercise and weight control hard or near impossible. To label all people as FATTIES and to chastise them as if you are the weight police shows a lack of understanding, knowledge, and decency on your part. Good people are overweight and by calling them names, telling them they are not cool enough, telling them they are ugly, and ostracizing them you have not done one thing to help them. You might have sent a child into bulimia, anorexia, or binge eating instead. Congratulations…more eating disorders courtesy of the rich, pompous, and narcissistic adolescent minded bullies that never mentally left their mean girl middle school attitudes.

  36. chris1122 says – reply to this


    136

    The target market is young gay guys, always has been!! I just can't understand why they still sell women's clothes. Why would women shop there???

    Oh, and the CEO should prob get different plastic surgeon, but for late 60's, eh? :/

  37. Mwchicky says – reply to this


    137

    Re: candied20Re: candied20 – Your an idiot. I would rather be a size 12 and look like a girl, than be a size 0 and be build like a boy. There are people in this world that are thin and have high cholesterol and Diabetes and have had heart attacks. You obliviously are very uneducated.

  38. Mags says – reply to this


    138

    I absolutely agree with Jeffrie's statement. A&F is definitely seen as a step higher on the (granted) teenage fashion ladder. Their clothes are more expensive, better designed, and more iconic than either H&M or AE. And their marketing works. Has anyone else had a conversation about the new AE catalog? No - but when you have to show ID to get an A&F catalog, people talk. And frankly, I agree with the sizing. If you can't fit in a healthy range of sizes, then you should be forced to shop somewhere else. Weight is not the same as sexual orientation, race or gender. You CAN change your weight. And if you are a size 16, you should.

  39. Jj says – reply to this


    139

    Abercrombie is not In style anymore…back in the day cool.

  40. FirstJumper says – reply to this


    140

    Re: LadySiren
    Do you mean that they actually would not let you come inside the store?

  41. Megan says – reply to this


    141

    Re: Pansy Hunter – strongly agreed! And because all these bitches have to throw it out there, I'm a size 14.

  42. bean says – reply to this


    142

    Re: candied20 – I wear a size 14. I'm not over weight, I'm tall, athletic, and have wide hips. Does that mean I have a health issue because I can't fit into A&F size 12's? No, what it means is you have a brain issue from overexposure, probably to pants that are too tight.

  43. Kim says – reply to this


    143

    Firstly, H&M is hardly competition - it's not a brand, just a store, and the clothes are FAR cheaper. They also appeal to a more 'quirky' audience, whereas A&F is seen as the epitome of preppiness.

    However, if Abercrombie's sizes are anything like those of Hollister, then the sizes they have are generous enough, a small would drown me and I'm hardly petite. If people can't fit in the clothes there then I don't think A&F is the big issue here.

    I would just like to clarify that I would never actually shop in either of the above - they make a walking billboard of the customer.

  44. lol says – reply to this


    144

    I guess this is an example of a 'double-edged sword'. Make plus size and people are saying we shouldn't encourage anorexia, things like refusing to make plus size clothing and people are saying we encourage anorexia. YOU CAN'T WIN EITHER WAY.

    If you're a healthy weight you should be able to fit A&F, it isn't like they only make XXXXS or something stupid like that *rolls eyes*

  45. lol says – reply to this


    145

    seriously all companies do this, I wouldn't care less and I do think that obesity is a bad thing but there is no need to go be a dick about it, anyone who supports what this guy says is a superficial materialistic whore, but the truth is is that being obese is in no way good, that doesn't mean you should be an asshole about it because even if you can fit into their clothes, it doesn't mean that you should act like a dick. Anyway, anyone who thinks that what he says is right probably are just like him, the only difference is that your ugly is inside(Or like the CEO on your face)

    keeping healthy is good, but this guy completely aims for washboard abs and model size zero women which is terrible, there are some people who have fat here and there and they should be comfortable with that and not be insulted for being normal by as Fat Amy would put it "Twig Bitches"

  46. Aaron says – reply to this


    146

    I admit, this may come off a little harsh, not inclusive, so to say. These clothes and these particular clothing lines are meant for fit people. If not fit people want to wear the clothes, then that is a reason to get in shape and start running. Hell, it worked for me. Now I am X amount of lbs lighter and I like wearing the particular brands.

  47. Jennifer29 says – reply to this


    147

    Okay some of you obviously do not understand the difference between what Jeffries said, which is alienating and being exclusive to "larger & fuller" people and encouraging them to not look that way. Cut the crap! There is a way to encourage people to be healthy and thin, as there is a way to make fun of them and not accept them. And honestly its just not right. For those of you who agree, you're probably stick thin, or just barey fit in to the clothing. But what if it wasnt about weight and they excluded YOU for something you do or don't have? Then you'd be complaining. Agreed, its not healthy to be overweight but this is just being plain rude!! He is an ugly man to begin with, and his brand isn't very exciting or fresh either.. Its crazy what some people do to wear a simple A&F logo, smh..society now a days. And by the way girls, bones are for dogs!!

  48. Meredith says – reply to this


    148

    Re: candied20 – do research… Diabetics doesnt always mean you're fat. It's genetics or sometimes people are just born with that disease. There's no reason to be rude.

  49. Brian K Leung says – reply to this


    149

    Re: DrunkenHines – Preached!!

  50. Lindsey says – reply to this


    150

    Re: Lindsay – And if you cant spell- you should learn how to! Dumbass!

  51. 4321weyyy says – reply to this


    151

    that's rich coming from a man who looks like a white orc from lord of the rings.

  52. Yaya says – reply to this


    152

    It could just mean that their clothing are made for particular style. Maybe these body type wont suit certain clothes.



  53. 153

    This notion not only sounds harsh but is ridiculous and discriminatory. Go ahead and shame larger people, abercrombie. People who DON'T think this is a big deal have never had to deal with their weight, or the pressures from society that come with that. Especially when H&M and American Eagle are not sizeist and are JUST as successful, this makes abercrombie simply look like that annoying rich popular person everyone really hates.
    I now have a reason to hate abercrombie and fitch. Yes, their models are attractive, but that's called an add and those people are retouched within an inch of no longer being HUMAN anymore anyway - you should NEVER have a campaign AGAINST a certain demographic of potential shoppers - it's wrong.
    Shame, abercrombie. You make me sick.

  54. Renzy says – reply to this


    154

    Nobody likes Vanilla anyways.



  55. 155

    My solution has been to hit up as many garage sales and clothing outlets, buy up the A & F clothing at cheap prices, cut out the logos, and then use them as iron-on appliques or as sew on appliques. This way, my 425 pound fat ass can look as fashionable as the rest think they do. :)

More comments: « 1 [2]