Abercrombie and Fitch, the popular tween fashion brand, was in the news recently for all the wrong reasons.
Critics began rehashing an old 2006 quote, where CEO Mike Jeffries told a Salon interviewer:
“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.”
He also said something to the effect of overweight people should not buy A&F clothes.
Predictably when this quote began to resurface, the blogosphere — complete with hack journalists and arm-chair critics — proceeded to flip a wig (pun intended).
People were furious, mad as hell, and not going to take it anymore. They demanded a formal apology. Change.org even started a petition that amassed over 68,000 signatures.
But here’s the thing…
The CEO was… absolutely right.