Abercrombie CEO’s statements shouldn’t be taken personally

Columnist and Columnist

Recently, the CEO of the popular clothing brand Abercrombie & Fitch, Mike Jeffries, has been under fire for his 2006 remark concerning his company’s marketing strategy. He claimed their goal is to only attract the “cool kids” and “good-looking people” to buy their clothing items.

Controversy has also arisen over the retailer’s choice to not offer sizes in women’s clothing above XL and to not carry any pant sizes above size 10. People argue that this displays a bias towards selling only to what the industry defines as ‘skinny customers.’

This suggests that only skinny people are the “cool kids” and that overweight individuals cannot wear the brand and be considered “good-looking.”

Abercrombie is defining their own standard of beauty and being exclusive to a specific market they wish to target. They are trying to be an individual rather than be like other stores that are expanding their size ranges to encompass people of all body weights and shapes.

Companies are becoming all alike as they try to target every consumer, and Abercrombie is trying to avoid this. By being exclusive, they are maintaining their uniqueness and continuing to excite people.

Some say Abercrombie is sticking to the idea of a conventional all American beauty standards, which to some, is considered outdated in this current day and age.

Across the nation, the beauty standard is changing to be more inclusive of all individuals in the market. Fat, old, skinny, young, ugly, and beautiful are all being defined differently. This is a good thing since the definition of beautiful has been making young people try so desperately to fit into an often unrealistic image. There is often an emphasis on uniqueness and confidence when considering beauty.

In order for the beauty standard to change, the overall opinions and mindsets of the population need to change. People need to realize that all people are beautiful, no matter what. People need to base their thoughts off the individual rather than comparing them to what they see in a magazine.

Not everyone is going to be model skinny and have perfect features. This is simply unrealistic, especially since the definition of perfect varies from person to person as well.

When it comes to Abercrombie, people are outraged by their lack of empathy and inclusion towards all people. It is not fair to make kids feel ostracized and not cool because they cannot fit into the brand’s clothing. However, just because you have Abercrombie written on your shirt does not make you automatically cool. Coolness is not that superficial.

Nonetheless, in my opinion, Abercrombie is not doing anything wrong when it comes to business.

As an individual company, they have the right to decide what they sell in their stores and there is nothing that says they have to sell to all people. It is a not a department store and should not be expected to market and sell like one.

They have created a well-defined brand for themselves. It is highly popular amongst its target market and they have clearly found their niche. Also, they have their fair share of publicity to attract the attention of the public, whether they are offensive or not, it seems to be working.

By singling out this company and saying that they are being discriminatory is wrong. Sure, they may hurt the feelings of millions of kids who cannot fit into their clothing, but there are plenty of other stores for them to buy stylish clothes at.

Jeffries has issued an apology for his statement. This helps ease the outrage, but it does not eliminate the controversy completely. However, it is evident that they did not mean to directly offend any persons. All in all, remember, no one says you have to shop at Abercrombie or even like their clothes. Also, wearing a certain brand does not make you cool. If you do not agree with their company’s standards or marketing strategies, then shop somewhere else. You do not have to take the company’s policies and statements personally. There are plenty of stores out there to choose from. I am pretty sure Abercrombie will continue to sell their clothes regardless.