You no longer have to be "hot" to work at Abercrombie & Fitch.
Starting Friday, according to Bloomberg retail reporter Lindsay Rupp, the preppy brand will ban its "Look Policy" for employees, along with an “appearance and sense of style” hiring rule that stipulates attractiveness:
So gone is the legendary “Look Policy” for employees, which banned French-tip manicures, certain hair-styling products and, among other things, mustaches. Clerks will be referred to as brand representatives, not models. They still can’t wear extreme makeup or jewelry, but the rules are gentler. The idea is that sales forces should focus on selling, not on obsessing over their level of accepted handsomeness.
These major changes come just months after Abercrombie CEO Mike Jeffries retired after 22 years. Jeffries became notorious for his views on who should and should not be associated with the brand. In an infamous 2006 article on Salon, he said sex appeal was core to the Abercrombie DNA: "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 also admitted trying to limit some people from becoming customers: "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."
While you shouldn't expect to see A&F employees sporting face tattoos anytime soon, this definitely marks a major change for the company. Here's hoping they've turned over a new leaf.