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Sheila Moeschen Headshot

A Letter to Abercrombie & Fitch CEO Mike Jeffries

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Dear Mr. Jeffries,

I understand that you've recently come under some criticism over comments you made regarding the kind of consumers you wish to attract with the Abercrombie & Fitch brand. I believe the words you used were "thin and beautiful," "people with washboard stomachs," and "cool, good-looking, popular." Cool may have been used twice. I have to say, Mr. Jeffries, that it is so refreshing to hear someone speak his worldview so plainly! Our lives are peopled by two kinds: Adonises (Adoni?) and Ughos. A&F, as you so eloquently and poetically state, is clearly the domain of the Adoni; Ughos can do us all a favor and take their awkward bangs and size 9 feet down to Macy's, J. Crew or whatever common dumpsters Ughos see fit to purge from for their fashion needs. After all, it is past time that Ughos know their place in the fashion and beauty food chain. Who cares that these are the visionaries, the entrepreneurs, the creative and economic forces behind the world's modern marvels? Why should we give these sub-humans consideration simply because they save lives, drive world markets, or run entire countries? Don't they know that these accomplishments pale in comparison to looking hot in a pair of over-priced, shoddily made, Daisy Duke shorts? Nice try Ughos. Mr. Jeffries and I, we're not fooled.

I cannot tell you how many times I have passed by one of your magnificent fashion clubs -- the seizure-inducing bass thumping, the lighting dimmed just so (what would you call that? Calcutta disco lighting? Marvelous!), the stifling scent of the latest Diddy fragrance coiling around shoppers like a thin fog -- and spied one of your God-like Adoni at work. There she stands (or maybe it's a he, so hard to tell!), a physical masterpiece in size double zero cargo pants, anemically folding the kerchief that passes for a work blouse. I think to myself "Avert your eyes, fool! The perfection is too great! The beauty too dazzling!" Though not a full-blown Ugho (On non-bloaty days, I'm a solid six), I am certainly not one of those chosen cool kids in your stable, those storied popular students that become the stuff of movies and high-profile pyramid scheme scandals. I know this. I accept it. I would not dream of crossing the threshold of one of your fine boutiques to sully them with my lack of social capital. I would rather die a thousand deaths of paper cuts and lemon juice than to tarnish your glorious, vapid empire with my mediocrity. I would do this for you, Mr. Jeffries. I would not go into your stores, ever, in order to preserve your charmed ideals.

And really, that's all you're asking for, right? I don't know why people are so upset with you because it's not unreasonable what you're suggesting. You are simply asking for 97% of the world's consumer population to stay out of your stores, to spend their hard-earned capital elsewhere, to empty their accounts, flush with funds from PayPal, to boost some other company's bottom line. Mr. Jeffries, I believe in what you're saying. I want to pledge my full support of this goal. If I have my way, no ordinary, average, cool-kid-party crashing Ugho will further darken the hallows of your smokey, swamp-lit designer boutiques. You will not have to worry about running out of size 8 sweater vests or hiring more accountants to handle your bursting books. We will not let you down, Mr. Jeffries! You can count on us, a majority of consumers, to not be counted on when it comes to Abercrombie & Fitch! You can put your faith in us, the reason you bought that second house in the Hamptons last year, to never, ever buy another A&F product and risk upending your business by making it incredibly successful.

After all, it is the least we can do for someone who deserves the same kind of exclusionary treatment you make seem so very "cool."

Sincerely,

Sheila