10 Ways Abercrombie & Fitch Has Gone Too Far

Abercrombie & Fitch, once a cherished brand among middle school girls, has recently mastered the art of making people hate it. Mike Jeffries, CEO of A&F and winner of the “Worst Human Ever” award, has a history of speaking his mind and unfortunately for him (and his company), his mind isn’t very pleasant. As a result, the company itself has started to suffer. Here are some reasons why:

1) Its Anti-Fat Campaign

In a 2006 interview with Salon Magazine, Abercrombie & Fitch CEO Mike Jeffries explained why his stores don’t offer XL or XXL sizes for women, claiming that  he doesn’t want to attract buyers that may have been one of the “not-so-cool” kids in high school. “Those companies that are in trouble are trying to target everybody: young, old, fat, skinny…but then you become totally vanilla,” he said. If Jeffries truly believes that he epitomizes the elite “cool kids,” then I believe he has been grossly misled because surely no group of cool kids in their right mind would hang out with a guy that describes things as “totally vanilla.” Let’s be honest, here.

2) The New “No Black” Policy

In one of its recently released statements, the company’s corporate offices banned its employees from wearing black to work, noting, “We have nothing against black clothing and feel it is perfectly appropriate for things like tuxedos, penguins, zebras, ravens and Oreos.” He actually didn’t say the last few items but he might have because they were equally as irrelevant.

3) Thongs for Kids

At a pitch meeting for Abercrombie & Fitch in 2002, an employee looked at his employees and said with a twinkle in his eye: “You know what this world needs? Thongs for children.” And that’s exactly what he did. (Not based on a true story, but it could have been.) Although the underwear line, which had words like “eye candy” and “wink wink” inscribed on the back, were quickly pulled from the shelves, their mere existence reveals the ignorance floating around behind company lines.

4) Its Focus On Good-Looking People

“[Sexual attraction] is 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.” – Mike Jeffries

Here’s an idea. How about you hire intelligent people, and then, one of them that knows how to use a thesaurus (seriously, do you not know any other word for “good-looking people”) can take over your job and undo all the negativity that your morally-corrupt mind has spewed out over the years?

5) It’s Overpriced

There is a pair of jeans in Abercrombie & Fitch worth 220 dollars. That’s almost as much as a very cheap iPad or one hundred iced coffees. For fabric to cover your legs. The logic here eludes me.

6) Its Larger-Than-Life, Half-Naked Wall Models

Walking through an Abercrombie & Fitch makes me almost as uncomfortable as watching a movie with my parents that contains a large number of sex scenes. Like, am I supposed to be admiring these large, shirtless men on the walls? How long can I stare before admiration turns into weird fascination? What if someone catches me? Is this even socially acceptable? I just can’t handle the pressure, you guys.

Aber Model

Suddenly, a wild model appears!

7) Keeping Mike Jeffries As the CEO

Most of this is his fault, anyway.


8) The Jungle Atmosphere

I’ve never been on a real safari but I’ve been in Abercrombie & Fitch a couple of times, which is pretty much the same thing. With the foggy air (likely a mix of cologne and drugs that make people delusional enough to continue shopping there) and the lack of proper lighting, A&F could really be an unofficial jungle and you would never know.

9) The Moose Logo

Assuming it is, in fact, a jungle, having a moose as a logo is pretty anti-climactic. I mean, why not a tiger? Or a gorilla? Or a giant python-dragon hybrid? (Which, now that I think about it, would really just be a giant, flying worm, so maybe not, but you get the point.) No offense to meese (I know the plural is also moose but it still sounds weird to me). You guys are still pretty cool, just not vicious enough for a quasi-jungle clothing store.


I mean, I guess he’s kind of cute.

10) Its Name Is Far Too Long

Abercrombie & Fitch. You can’t even shorten that eloquently. A and F. Aberfitch. Aber & Fitch. Abby. Fitchy. Why not just title it “Clothes”? Saves everyone the trouble.

Image via MassLive.com

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=101501146 Tali Stein

    First off, I have refused to wear A&F since I was 12. So do not think I’m saying this in support of the company at all, because I am NOT. And this man disgusts me. But everyone’s been making a big deal of this lately, but all of this is old news. He’s been saying this stuff for YEARS, the fat shaming, the ugly shaming, poor shaming, etc. And the “no black” policy isn’t new. A&F doesn’t sell black clothes because of the business split back in the day.

    Number 6 made me laugh out loud, because some of their commercials have that affect on me.

    • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1048140040 Shawnee Renee Anderson

      Yea, it might have been going on for years, but no one has really known about it until social media sites started booming…

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1293415315 Just Kika

    So happy this brand is not in my country (yet).

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=31510141 Bobbi Lee Hitchon

    Plus their clothes suck.

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=558810942 Millie Minor-Gibson

    If a pair of jeans is over $75 it should be made in the USA. No company should receive that much profit for another clothing item made in sweatshops. (just a random openion)

    • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=719815931 Valerie Jane

      That’s a great opinion! If I were to spend part of my hard earned pay on jeans they need to be US made. I used to buy Canadian (just as ethically sound, I’m sure) jeans at GAP back in high school and they were only like $60! Much better option my friends!

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=37618775 Sarah Elizabeth Mason

    My little brother worked at a Hollister (A&F sister company) while in college. I would go visit him at work sometimes and feel extremely uncomfortable. It was all size 0 blonde girls and model handsome guys trying to sell clothes that could barely fit a 12 year old. My brother even got me a shirt for Christmas one year that said Large but felt more like a small…and I was a size 6 in college! Hate those 2 stores!

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1240710307 Jenna Baez

    I’ve never worn A&F. I mean they have my size but the clothes were all so think/short/clingy. I mean I’m not fat but not one of the “cool kids”. Everyone that wore this crap had the same shirts with A&F all over it. No originality. Plus, you need a flashlight and a gas mask to navigate this store. I’ve gone in once and couldn’t breathe. Hollister is pretty much the same.

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=619727224 Therese ‘Tesse’ Kristiansen

    Your idea of good-looking people not being intelligent is just as narrow-minded as the CEOs opinions of so many things. Further, a safari: takes place in the savannah not a jungle, so no, you obviously hasn’t been on one (and shouldn’t make comparisons of which you nothing). And if you don’t care for purchasing jeans priced at $220, don’t go there! I don’t know A&F, I don’t really care about their politics and morals, but this article is simple not up to par with the rest of the stuff on this great site.

    • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=631740582 Sarah McDowell

      “You obviously hasn’t” and “this article is simple not up to par”… I believe your comment is not up to par. The same goes for your nasty argumentative attitude too. To follow your logic, if you don’t like the article, don’t comment here!

      • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=619727224 Therese ‘Tesse’ Kristiansen

        Grammar mistakes aside (being Danish and all), I really don’t think you can write an article slamming on a business for having immoral takes on certain things, while calling good-looking people unintelligent at the same time. That’s not being nasty, that’s pointing something out. In regards to not commenting if I don’t like the article – isn’t the comment section for speaking your opinion? Should comments only be positive?

        • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=522368293 Laura Koles

          I don’t see any stabs whatsoever at attractive people in this article. All she said was that the company should hire employees based on skill, performance, effectiveness, etc, instead of it all boiling down to appearance. Or at least they shouldn’t outright claim that as their employee standard…. I mean, who in their right mind…?!

          • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1048140040 Shawnee Renee Anderson

            Are you really defending a company that is so self-righteous and egotistical? Hating on gays, Asians, obese people, homeless, and ugly people aside, why would anyone want to buy clothing that is so over priced? I mean, I never shopped there in my entire life. No one should feel like they have to take out a second mortgage on their home just to be in “style”. Let alone feel so degraded because they would normally be a Medium, but have to buy a Large. Their views on things make me hate the company with a certain passion. I have never been a protester, but this company makes me want to picket every location and try to make them go bankrupt (which probably won’t happen because of self-righteous people such as yourself that enjoy the CEO’s views… as misguided as they are; but to each their own…). Not to mention that the CEO is just as ugly on the outside as he is on the inside. The company burns clothing that isn’t able to be sold… I mean, just so it doesn’t get in the wrong hands? I’m sorry, but with the recent light on this company, I will never in my entire life support something as abhorrent or repugnant as them.

            • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=738200400 Caledonia Dionne

              Therese never said she supports the CEO’s ideals she was just expressing her dislike and/or misunderstanding of a point in the article, which is why we have the comments section. Don’t tell people what to spend their money on. If they want to spend $220 on jeans they like, that’s not any of your business. Besides she said she doesn’t know A&F.

            • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=26607072 Greg Drey

              This company does not hate on gays! They offer benefits to both heterosexual and homosexual partners. It’s voted one of the top employers to work for by the HRC.

        • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=591060051 Dave de Cruz

          I think your brain has been on safari, young lady. A safari can take place in any country. It’s a Swahili word that roughly translates to an expedition to hunt or observe fauna in it’s natural habitat. Eg. if I visited your home, I would be able to observe an idiot in her natural habitat.

          Ms Vendetti does not state that good looking people are not intelligent. She illustrate A&Fs policy to hire based on looks, not intelligence.

          It is well within reason to illustrate that it is unnecessary to pay $220 jeans. She won’t go there. The next time you think about paying that much money for a pair of pants, I suggest you spend $70 (still expensive), and give the rest to charity. Or, better still, throw it into the air and watch passers-by scramble to grab a tenner – either would be more rewarding than giving it all to A&F.

          Sarah hit the nail on the head – your comment is not up to par, and you should be posting comments with a handicap of 80.

    • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=100000487818535 Alina Abidi

      Great point! And shouts out to Denmark :)

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=736521795 Amanda Haas

    I have now removed all my A&F clothes from my closet, which is 1 pair of shorts. Which leads me to say NO ONE IN MY GENERATION shops there anymore. It’s more of a butt a joke now. Our economy has effected our shopping and A&F just doesn’t cut it. That alone I feel is the reason that people don’t shop there anymore.

    The others reasons just put fuel on the fire. I hated the fact that they do not carry Xl and XXL for women. It’s ridiculous!

    This store is just a joke now.

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1302932024 Shoshana Korman

    i have never bought anything from there and do not plan on doing so. they have the right to do as they want but i also have the right not to buy.

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=74904367 Helen Quách


    oh, don’t forget a few years back, they released a line of racially offensive t-shirts! a & f = “absurd fashion.”

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=685080344 Kelle Neal

    In high school (umpteen years ago) I was in love with that store. Fast forward to the present: no longer have the same waistline or sheep-like mentality that comes along with fashion trends at times. That said, any policy they have is their right to have. If I could change one thing about that place it would be the amount of cologne that is allowed to waft into the atmosphere. I don’t want my mall experience to be hampered by the assault on my sinuses. That, they should not have the right to do 😉

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=100002724166931 Karen Taylor

    I don’t wear A&F, never have, never will. But if you want to make a case for people not shopping at A&F, then leave out the sarcasm and exaggerations. Tell us the store and it’s founder are asses and why – fine. Making up scenarios and false quotes just ruins your credibility.

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=723447329 Pia P. Abelardo

    You forgot the racist T-shirts again the Asian American community. http://www.sfgate.com/news/article/Abercrombie-recalls-T-shirts-many-found-offensive-2849480.php

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=719815931 Valerie Jane

    Ick, is all I can say to number 3. People are free to shop where they want but number 3 should stop any self respecting woman (or person) from shopping at this dump.
    I once had a shirt from this place back when I was in high school and I got it for free..- that’s the only way I would ever wear their stuff.
    PS. That was a sleep shirt. ahaha. Wouldn’t be caught dead being a walking billboard supporting this dumb company. Now, come to think of it I won’t even wear their stuff for free now. :)

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=100001091283328 Emmanuel Valencia

    A&F’s clothing logic:
    Shirt= $10
    Logo= $40
    Shirt+Logo= $70


  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=100000487818535 Alina Abidi

    i agree with your point, but this article is written so poorly that i’m unliking this page. if you’re going to put something in quotes, you can’t make up part of the quote as a joke and not clearly state which part of the quote is made up. Same with “And that’s exactly what he did. (Not based on a true story, but it could have been.) ” Even if it’s a joke-y article (which apparently it’s not since this is a very big deal to the author), posting like this takes away all your credibility.

    • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=578514199 Fernando Andrés Aróstica Romero

      Didn’t knew the jokes would continue on the comments.

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=865960643 Katie Sasburgerr

    Plus their apology from the racist T-Shirt fiasco contained this, “We never single out any one group to poke fun at. We poke fun at everybody, from women to flight attendants to baggage handlers, to football coaches, to Irish Americans to snow skiers. There’s really no group we haven’t teased.”

    So they have poked fun at ALL THE WOMEN IN THE WORLD and then the Irish and also many occupations and hobbies? WTF.

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=522368293 Laura Koles

    It’s a crying shame that the most plain, uninspired clothing can be sold for an exorbitant amount solely due to a brand name’s status. Peel back those eyelids, people! A generic t-shirt with a logo slapped onto the front it. That’s an appealing picture. I really think A and F should be PAYING US to billboard their clothing.

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=100001883041466 Memo Herrera

    Hey, does anyone remember “Summer Girls” by LFO. Somewhere at the beginning of the song:
    “…I like girls that wear A&F…”
    you’re welcome….

    • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=584007646 Sarah Reamon

      I remember the song, but they don’t abbreviate they say abercrombie & fitch – just thought I’d point it out since the shortening of the name was something addressed in the article

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=40502394 Courtney Flaherty

    A few things not mentioned here is that A&F is a really old store (1892 was when it opened) that originally sold safari gear so that’s where the jungle theming the the moose came from. That also explains the name, it was started by two people named Abercombie and Fitch in NYC. While the current store has really nothing to do with the original founders, it was bought and sold until it was eventually owned by Limited brands. The reason for the no black policy is that was part of the Limited stipulation for the split., that they could never sell black or purple. Not defending how ridiculous the store is, just dropping some knowledge since the article is rather uninformed.

    • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=719815931 Valerie Jane

      The store should go back to its roots, lol… I guess that would be more of an Eddie Bauer appeal. Oh god I hate this store with EVERY fibber of my being. Second thought, if enough people had enough sense this company would have gone bankrupt when the recession hit. If people are going to spend so much on clothing at least buy something good!!!!!!!!! Oh, I can’t talk sense into people. My work here is done. Peace. Anyone reading this that likes A & F, I’m sorry. Below, thanks for the history lesson.

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