Clothes for Clods

I’m not sure why these quotes from Abercrombie & Fitch CEO Michael Jeffries from 2006 are making the rounds on Facebook now, but as far as I know he still holds to them. So apparently girls above a size ten can’t be cool or beautiful? From what their representatives had said, they WANT to be known as the retailer of choice for the nasty, vapid, cliquey, bigoted kids who make life a living hell for all the other kids, and waste their parents’ money on overpriced clothes. I’ve always kind of had a bad vibe about A&F, although it was largely unfounded at first. I’m glad I can now back it up with actual reasons. I understand their clothes are of good quality, and I’m sure most of the time I couldn’t tell their clothes from those sold anywhere else, but the few things I’ve seen that I KNEW were from there were never particularly attractive. Then again, I’ve never been too fond of clothing with brand names displayed on it, no matter what the brand. I’ve never been into an A&F or Hollister store, but every time I go by one in the mall, I notice it’s really dimly lit, perhaps to encourage people to buy clothes without knowing what they look like in the light. I also understand the air inside smells strongly of perfume, and they pump in loud dance music. I think this description also applies to one of the levels of Dante’s Hell. And this is pretty shallow on my part, but they have an ugly name. If “fitching” isn’t some kind of disgusting sexual practice yet, it really should be. “Ambercrombie” isn’t quite as bad, but still makes me think of a really stuck-up guy. Wasn’t there a General Abercrombie in the French and Indian War whom people called “Abercrummy”? Sometimes your own name isn’t the best choice of what to call your product. Are you listening, Matt Drudge? Oh, and the name always makes me think of that stupid LFO song. Anyway, in addition to the “no fat chicks” policy, A&F has also been sued for discriminatory policies against minority employees and criticized for selling thongs for little girls and T-shirts featuring off-color sexist slogans, claimed that they don’t want poor people wearing their clothes, and utilized sweatshop labor. So they’re probably on about the same level as most of the fashion world, only with tackier products. Not that I really know from tacky, but I know enough to realize that A&F isn’t high fashion. I’m sure being exclusionary can work as a marketing policy; from what I can tell, the company isn’t losing any business over this. That doesn’t make it any less sickening, however. And what is Jeffries’ beef with cynicism? Maybe that’s a topic for another post.

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