Abercrombie and Fitch CEO Mike Jeffries issued what we'd describe as a semi-apology on Thursday for once saying that he doesn't want "fat" or "not so cool" kids wearing his company's clothes. It didn't go over very well, but before we explain all that, let's go through the entire episode in a bit more detail.
The Original Offense
In 2006, Jeffries -- the guy below -- said in an interview with Salon that his brand is "absolutely" "exclusionary" and only "want[s] to market to cool, good-looking people."
"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 said in the interview. Here are some guys exciting people:
But Why Are We Talking About This Again?
Earlier this month, Business Insider resurfaced the comments in an interview with Robin Lewis, co-author of the recent book "The New Rules of Retail." Lewis claims that Jeffries doesn't "want larger people shopping in his store, he wants thin and beautiful people," as evidenced by the sexy man on this bag:
Oh, Does That Have Anything To Do With The YouTube Video Of The Guy Giving Abercrombie Clothes To Homeless People?
Yes! The resurfacing of Jeffries' outlandish comments basically blew up the Internet, with one man going so far as to start a personal campaign to change Abercrombie's brand by giving away the retailer's clothing to homeless people. The video is just a few days old and already has more 4.5 million views (and counting):
After Awhile, Jeffries Decided To Issue The Following Statement:
I want to address some of my comments that have been circulating from a 2006 interview. While I believe this 7 year old, resurrected quote has been taken out of context, I sincerely regret that my choice of words was interpreted in a manner that has caused offense. A&F is an aspirational brand that, like most specialty apparel brands, targets its marketing at a particular segment of customers. However, we care about the broader communities in which we operate and are strongly committed to diversity and inclusion. We hire good people who share these values. We are completely opposed to any discrimination, bullying, derogatory characterizations or other anti-social behavior based on race, gender, body type or other individual characteristics.
He even posted it to Facebook:
But It Looks Like People Aren't Buying It:
Some People Are Probably Taking It Too Far:
Others Are Keeping Their Comments Simple: