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?