Abercrombie & Fitch CEO Goes on Record With His Hate for ‘Fat Chicks’

Abercrombie & Fitch CEO Goes on Record With His Hate for ‘Fat Chicks’

Abercrombie & Fitch has developed themselves into a household name in the fashion industry with their sexy lifestyle-sque advertisement photography and affordable clothing. However, a recent discovery shows that A&F no longer carries XL or XXL sized womens clothing in their stores. The reason for this is because they want “thin and beautiful customers” and that “fat chicks will just never be a part of the 'in' crowd.”

Robin Lewis, author of The New Rules of Retail says that Abercrombie’s attitude stems from CEO Mike Jeffries opinions on the matter.

“He doesn't want larger people shopping in his store, he wants thin and beautiful people,” Lewis said. “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.’”

Back in 2006, Jeffries went on record in an interview with Salon, admitting they only hire ‘good looking people’ --

“It’s almost everything. 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,” he said.

“In every school there are the cool and popular kids, and then there are the not-so-cool kids,” he told the site. “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,” he told Salon.

At this time, Abercrombie’s biggest competitors American Eagle and H&M offer both XXL sizes for both men and women.

So is this delusioned idea stemmed from the modeling industry? Advertising agencies have gotten flak for years on their underweight model obsession, and have virtually ignored the issue. Is it only a matter of time before the fashion industry expects the same weight from their client as they do from their models?

[Via EliteDaily]

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Tam Nguyen's picture

That's some fucked up reality. I like full-figured women, man. I need something to grab on, youknowwhatImean?

'Cause this is about you.

Lloyd Grace's picture

. . . and I thought Nobama was the most arrogant scum on the planet. People can register their displeasure by not buying anything from A&F. I know I won't.

Tam Nguyen's picture

I've never bought anything there in my life; I can't stand the obnoxious smell. I guess I won't be coming into their store any time soon.

Erica Jarrell's picture

I never liked their clothes enough to pay full price for them. I grabbed a few shirts at a thrift store once. Now I won't even bother buying A&F/Hollister second hand! What bold-faced jerks...

Jason Schultz's picture

I just googled him and looks like he's trying so hard to hold on to his youth, Jocelyn Wildenstein style.

You are BANG on the money there!

The smell either way is disgusting. Neither would I wear the clothes, because I consider them "mainstream". I support the idea though, to market to good looking people. I personally hate fat people, especially in America. Seeing the immense amount of fats in this country makes me want to throw up at times. So yes hurray to A&F!

Lee Morris's picture

To play devils advocate here, at least he is being honest. No trendy clothing store advertises their clothes with fat/ugly people (and no I am not saying all fat people are ugly). If I had a clothing store I wouldn't put myself in the ads, I would put the most beautiful people I could find/afford in my ads. Yes we can make the argument that "everyone is beautiful in their own way" but it's just marketing. If I was marketing a product to women and I decided to never put a man in my ads that doesn't mean I hate men it just means I am sticking to marketing to my demographic.

Yeah marketing wise, it's ideal that you use "good looking" people on your ads and campaigns but to clearly say you only want "all-american and popular good looking kids" to buy your brand and exclude everyone else is straight out, like Erin below calls it douchebaggery. Specially since Mike Jeffries looks like he paid tons of money to extend his youth and somewhat look like Jocelyn Wildenstein.

Lee Morris's picture

Of course it is but that is their marketing strategy. They want douchebags to buy their clothes so they market to douchbags. Apple doesn't market their products to poor people but it doesn't mean they hate poor people.

Again, it's not the marketing strategy I have qualms with, it's the ideals..

"A lot of people don’t belong [in our clothes], and they can’t belong."

Have you seen Apple make a blatant statement like that? Apple's marketed their products to everyone.

Lee Morris's picture

Don't get me wrong. I agree it's douchey. But there are so many companys that work like this. You could take that quote and it would apply to luxury watches or private jet or yatchs or elite athletic gear or clothing. Apple would never publicly come out and say anything like this because they don't want to lose a partial market share but for Abercrombie the owner will probably get more douchebag buyers BECAUSE he says stuff like this.

The second that a Lamborghini becomes available to the masses, the ultra rich will no longer want it.

Understand where you're coming from and also know that you're trying to keep the conversation going.

Lee Morris's picture


The difference, though, is that luxury brands are promoting the luxury lifestyle without denigrating middle/lower classed people.

This guy didn't just say he wanted to appeal to the "cool kids", he went out of his way to point out that his clothes weren't meant for fat/ugly/whatever kids.

Well said

Most companies don't have to say it. When you market something as luxury, that's basically code for "expensive" and thus might as well be saying "this isn't for poor people, only rich people like you"
The only difference in this situation is that some of the people A&F doesn't want can still afford their stuff, so they just flat out say it "our clothes are for good looking people" it's part of their marketing. Because when the best looking guys in school are wearing Abercrombie shirts, it made me want to wear them too (way way back when I was in school)

looking at the flipside, no one is going to want to wear whatever the ugly people are wearing.

Size and price are completely different.

"Apple's marketed their products to everyone."

Everyone who can afford it. By pricing your product a certain way, you don't have to say who your product is made for. Gucci, Armani, Chanel etc. don't have to put out a press release to tell people who their goods are marketed towards.

On another note, Tommy Hilfiger once stated in an interview that he didn't approve of black people wearing his brand. He got a lot of heat for it at the time but people continued to buy his clothes and not many people today remember he said that.

Yes and where is Tommy Hilfiger now? Even John Galliano is being crucified by the crowd that used to embrace him because of his anti-semitic tirade.

Hilfiger is still making tons of money. It's still in the same section of Macy's that it was 10 years ago.

Jeffries' comment about the desired look of his customers and employees is miniscule compared to Galiano's comments about the Holocaust.

This is what I meant by "where is Tommy Hilfiger now?"


Damage control? Maybe, maybe not since its been years since the allegations. Whether the statement was true or false, he's taken the brand towards a different direction.

Abercrombie is also known for racial discrimination. It is what it is, it's discrimination.

I remember that scandal, and to this day it disgusts me to think about how racist and ugly Hilfiger is. I refuse to buy anything with his branding for that reason. We haven't all forgotten... As far as A&F, the smell alone keeps me away, but I also don't want to look like a "joiner" by wearing their trendy, ripped up rags (and smelling like cheap cologne) anyhow. Then again, I'm also not a skinny teenager either... None of our kids are old enough to wear that garbage yet, but if they were, this would certainly influence our purchase decisions. I think this story will also reach more people now due to the influence of social media- maybe some of the parents of shoppers/employees will be offended enough to cut ties, as well.

Sarra, you've got to read the truth about Hilfiger. It was totally fabricated. He never said it. It's a vicious lie.

Read the snopes article J Hohertz posted. Hilfiger was actually outspoken against sweatshop labor, and I guess the sweatshops didn't like that. Can't say for sure they started it, but it would make sense.

Its fine that they don't market to fat girls, but its rude to come out and say that they don't like fat girls. That they don't belong..... obviously every company works like this. No one hires ugly models. But its about the CEO's attitude, which is getting him in trouble.

Ett Venter's picture
Lee Morris's picture

H&M using 1 slightly bigger girl to make headlines with 99.999% of their models being standard models is not a good example is my opinion.