Abercrombie & Fitch, aka The In-Crowd

by Brittany on May 7, 2013

in Daily Curve, Style & Beauty

It could be the new hashtag, #afhatesfatchicks.

Social Media has placed upon our doorsteps the latest in body hate news, Abercrombie & Fitch and their distaste for fat people. No wait, fat girls. Just girls.

You see, Abercrombie doesn’t make girls clothes past Large, but goes up to XXL for men. You know, for the football players and their All-American popular kid muscles.

AF Logo

From the mouth of AF CEO, Mike Jeffries to Salon in 2006,

“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. 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,”

I’ve been asked for my response to this article for two days now, and my immediate response was… Abercrombie & Fitch is still the in-crowd? Granted, I haven’t stepped into a store since the early 2000′s and the cologne fumes temporary destroyed three of my senses, but truly, I had no idea paying $200 for tiny pants was still a thing.

So yeah, I was a bit snarky and who the hell cares about the whole thing. Until I realized that for girls much younger than me. Girls in high school or college, who exceed the AF standard of beauty, this is a thing.

It’s a huge thing.

Because it’s another thing on top of a whole lot of other things that tell them they aren’t beautiful, they aren’t valuable, and they certainly aren’t worth designing for.

Because, you see, my thing is to keep pushing other clothing designers, ones not potentially living out crappy high school revenge scenarios, so that finding awesomely fashionable clothing for you and all your curves is a positive, fun and stylish experience.

And in my opinion, that’s what the 2013 in-crowd happens to look like.

Debbie May 7, 2013 at 12:40 pm

A & F = Assholes & Fuckers

Casey-moosh in indy. (@mooshinindy) May 7, 2013 at 1:07 pm

Whee!
Yep. This.

Stacia May 7, 2013 at 1:44 pm

bwahahahahahaaaa. yes.

Cindy May 7, 2013 at 2:04 pm

Hahahahaha! I was thinking that exact thing as I was reading this!!

Melly May 7, 2013 at 12:41 pm

As a chunky girl who wouldn’t fit into anything in that store… it really doesn’t make me mad. But, I’m in my 30′s. As a teenager I could see how it might be discouraging.

Lane Bryant doesn’t make skinny clothes… so there’s that..

Madrid May 8, 2013 at 11:03 am

Right, but we have to have a specialty store because ALL OTHER stores carry “normal” sizes. Having a specialty store for single digit sizes (granted, A&F says they go up to a 10 in girls. Whoopee.) is pointless; just like the Grocery Only stores that Wal-Mart is sprouting across the country.

Kim May 7, 2013 at 12:42 pm

This makes me want to put together one of those everyday people ad campaigns like in “13 Going on 30″ (one of my all time favorite movies)

Debbie May 7, 2013 at 12:43 pm

*not to mention that their “large” items would barely fit an anorexic 12 year old and as for their “XXL” men’s selection – maybe XXL in China, but not in the USA.

Abby May 7, 2013 at 12:44 pm

When I was a tiny size 2/4, I had to buy Large tops at AF because my boobs wouldn’t fit in anything smaller. Some of their tops wouldn’t even fit me. I was a 32D – not gigantic by any means, but big enough. Sadly, it did make me feel very self conscious because I was “too big” for their clothes!

Keri May 7, 2013 at 4:22 pm

I’m not trying to be rude, but I think you have breast size confused. I’m a small breasted gal, still an A cup after kids, and let me tell you a D is huge. If you were a 2/4 with ta-tas like that, then you were one of the lucky ladies God blessed with big boobs and a little waist. :)

Desiree May 7, 2013 at 12:59 pm

In high school they flat out refused to even accept my work application saying, “you don’t have the right look.”

Sara May 7, 2013 at 1:01 pm

I was a size 2-4 all through high school and maybe a 4-6 through college. I NEVER fit into their clothes, because they didn’t make petites or short lengths. And when they did, I am pretty sure they would have only fit on Gigi. I walked into a store with my friend, who is tall and skinny, and immediately we left because their sales girls don’t look legal, and we were bitch slapped by their skanky cologne. Apparently they only want skinny girls with no sense of olfaction to shop there.

Audra May 7, 2013 at 1:06 pm

Wow- to actually admit that out loud? They are once again striving to cause controversy because their clothes are ordinary. They started out years ago making clothes for stuffy, old men. Then they revamped and added half naked teen models to the store. Now this. You suck Ambercrombie!

Jamie May 7, 2013 at 2:28 pm

Yep. I had to laugh at that quote from the CEO, “You don’t alienate anybody, but you don’t excite anybody, either.” Um, I’ve got news for you, A&F…your clothing is not exciting in any way.

Amanda May 14, 2013 at 9:37 pm

This. I have been thinking this every damn time I read his quotation. I shopped at A & F in high school and college, and I would never have classified their clothes as exciting. The last time I set foot in one was with my cousin about five years ago. Or maybe it was a Hollister. I don’t even know anymore. It was artificially dark with throbbing music and olfactory-destroying cologne permeating the building.

Gracie B May 7, 2013 at 1:07 pm

Thank you for commenting on this. I couldn’t explain fully on twitters 140 characters why I was so upset with this DBAG. I was a size 12 as a HS student being told by the mean girls that I was fat. And I believed them for a long time which led to eating disorder. I eventually got to a size 6. Which led to a million health issues, even to this day it has had an effect on my pregnancies. So for someone like this to be so irresponsible with his comments and make teenagers (since thats really the only people who shop there) feel like they are less than pissed me off. Also the clothes there run a size or two small anyway. So really even girls that are an 8 can’t fully shop there. The in crowd? the beautiful people? Im not sure he qualifies to make such statements. Also I would like to point out that they stock men’s sizes up to a 2xl. So it’s just us ‘fat chicks’ that he hates?

Kathy May 7, 2013 at 1:10 pm

He says he doesn’t want his line to be “vanilla” but that’s precisely what he is doing?!?! I see the kids walking into my boys schools ( 2 are in hs, 1 is in middle) and 90% of the kids have the logos A&F or Hollister ( which is another VERT SMALL brand of super expensive, mortgage payment an outfit company) emblazoned on their shirts, hoodies. Even though our district has a “dress code” , emblems are allowed on polos …. And they are extremely lax on their dress code enforcement. We have a very large school district. There are over 4000 kids in the HS campus. That’s a LOT of kids wearing these clothes, looking extremely “vanilla”.
My point ( I do have one, I think?!!) …. I love that you chose not to play the “snark card” and instead redirect back to your mission. Encouraging and introducing clothing companies to dress ALL bodies. More options , especially for tween and teen girls of all shapes and sizes to help them express their own style! YOU are helping redefine his idea of adding flavors to clothing!

Lindsey May 7, 2013 at 1:11 pm

I’m 32 now but I’m with Brittany…I didn’t even realize that their clothes were even popular anymore. I have a very attractive and slim 11 year old who kinda/sorta is on the trendy side, but A&F is not one of the places I’m drug to for school clothes. I never understood the whole thing anyway. Jeans that make your ass look flat, and polo shirts for girls and guys? I’d rather spend my money elsewhere and wear clothes that flatter my curves rather than look like I’m trying to hard. My heart shaped butt laughs at their jean selection. As for All-American? I don’t know anyone who looks like their models. Last time I checked, I lived in the US.

Heather May 7, 2013 at 1:14 pm

Assholes and Fuckers.
D. Ying

Omg
Ahahhaha

karen May 7, 2013 at 1:14 pm

This literally made me nauseous when I saw this the other day. I volunteer with teenagers and believe me, they don’t need any more judgement on them than they already have. I was fuming by the time I read that asshole’s press release. I used to be a size 2 and never fit in their clothes either, just because I still had curves in a size 2. Apparently I needed to be a stick size 2. Now, I just want to go stretch out all of their tees with my enormous boobs that are NOT size 2 anymore (heehee) and walk back out the store.

Cindy May 7, 2013 at 1:23 pm

Don’t forget about the teen boys – they suffer too, just as much as the girls do.

Becky May 7, 2013 at 1:23 pm

I guess we’re the exception to the rule. Our kids at school don’t really care about labels. Sure they know them, Areopostole seems to be the prominent one, but nobody cares, and nobody is singled out for wearing a certain brand or not wearing a certain brand.
Maybe our school is just too small to play these petty games (graduating classes of less than 60) but really nobody is judged by size, weight, sexual orientation, or label on their clothes. I guess we’re either really lucky, or really not judgmental.

Bella May 7, 2013 at 1:33 pm

You know what Brittany? There comes a point in time when even this southern, sweet, Christian reader here has to say something ugly.

Fuck you and your disgusting, misogynistic,destructive policies A&F.
Just FUCK YOU!

Ahem.

Carry on.

Nuala Reilly May 7, 2013 at 1:47 pm

Ahem.

You are awesome. Best response ever.

Love it.

Tarah May 7, 2013 at 1:46 pm

To go back to my HS self that used too few intelligent words and far too many curse words…what a douche.

LouisianaMeredith May 7, 2013 at 1:48 pm

A&F can kiss my fat ass…..I, despite, my size, am totally one of the cool, fun kids.

Sooooo boycotting these bitches!

Kelli G. May 7, 2013 at 1:50 pm

What also bothers me is that they’re insinuating that if you’re not small you’re not popular. Um, since when is that true? Last I checked there are popular kids in every size. I hate that companies out there work even harder to mess up kids’ body images, like they don’t have it hard enough with kids in their own schools.

Corrine May 7, 2013 at 2:03 pm

This article ensures that I will never EVER set foot in an A & F store…nor will a penny of my money.

Laura May 7, 2013 at 3:08 pm

When asking some of my 4 boys if they wanted to shop there, the answer “Have you seen the low rent that shops there?! Pass!”

Kim May 7, 2013 at 3:18 pm

Abercrombie can suck it. So can Hollister, and any of those stores that make their sizes so damn small that normal women can’t even shop in there. God forbid women have tits or an ass – I guess that makes them fat by A&F, Hollister and Aeropostale standards. I am a size 6, but I have curves, and in all of these places I have to get the biggest size they sell and even then they hardly fit without a can of Crisco for me to grease myself up first. Even though I know their sizes aren’t true, they still make me, a grown woman, feel bad about myself. I can’t even imagine what a teenager would feel! Hopefully these stores straighten up their crap by the time my little girl is old enough to shop in there, lest they damage her ego as well.

Assholes!

Jennifer May 7, 2013 at 3:47 pm

Yep, they suck. Yep, he’s a major fucking asshole.

But man… they are getting a lot of press (which I’m sure is one of the reasons you didn’t want to write about them to begin with).

Brittany May 7, 2013 at 3:49 pm

Yup. Exactly.

Sarah May 7, 2013 at 5:01 pm

I’m a size 8 and I can’t remember EVER fitting into A&F. I tried many times, but I have just never succeeded and at some point you have to realize, they aren’t the only store out there, and THEY DON’T GET TO TELL YOU WHAT ‘ALL AMERICAN’ WOMEN LOOK LIKE. We’re all beautiful, and I’m not going to let them have this insane power over me.

Justin May 7, 2013 at 6:25 pm

Their corporate headquarters is in Columbus (where I went to college, yay!), which meant there were always plenty of attractive boys to smooch on, but it was almost never worth it because their totally skewed corporate culture had turned their brains to putty and almost all of them cried after sex and needed constant reassurance that they weren’t troglodytes.

Viv May 7, 2013 at 9:05 pm

Have you ever seen the CEO of A & F that made this quote???
Seriously bat shit cray! The dude sets the tone for this horrible company. Instance after instance of racial, persons with disability’s and body discrimination. Go ahead and google a picture of this dick, he looks like his face melted from the mass amounts of bleach that leaked from his hair. I’m gonna take a wild guess that this guy wasn’t popular in high school, wasnt a jock, wasn’t considered attractive and was in the closet bc he is seriously overcompensating.
Try this article on for size:
http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/10/18/abercrombie-fitch-ceo-corporate-jet-rulebook_n_1980960.html

PoisonPrincezz May 9, 2013 at 12:52 am

I used to have a shirt that satired them – it was called Pimpercumbie and Bitch. I wish I still had that…

Anyway, I wanted to say thank you for this site and your insights. The information you share – the quest you are on – it really touches me. I’m a big girl and I hate it. I hate myself and I feel like a failure. And every time something like this happens it reinforces those feelings despite the fact that I am way too old to shop in that freaking store anyway.

Your blog, these comments, your pictures and interview about your bikini all have touched me very deeply and given me hope that I can be self-confident and once again love myself no matter what size I wear or what that damn scale says every morning. I just had to thank you for that. I was reading this at work and could not help but break down in tears – but this time it was a good cry.

banannie May 14, 2013 at 7:57 am

I think I’m going to to buy one of their tiny shirts, cut out the front logo, stitch it on to one of my normal girl shirts across the boobage area and make my own damn A&F shirt. I’m going to wear that thing all. the. time.

Kellyn May 14, 2013 at 11:18 am
Debbie May 15, 2013 at 3:46 pm

This is a cool answer to the Abercrombie & Fitch dumbass-ness. This guy is buying A&F clothes at thrift stores and donating them to homeless people! There’s one way to make sure that they maintain the purity of their brand; though I’m not sure it’s fair to the homeless people to have to walk around in d-bag clothes.
http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2013/05/14/abercrombie-and-fitch-homeless-brand-readjustment_n_3272498.html?utm_hp_ref=mostpopular

nagehan @ contemporary mother May 15, 2013 at 4:56 pm

I used to work as a store manager for A&F. I was the store manager manager who hired and recruited ‘attractive’ people defined by the company’s standards. The recruited kids were the ones who worked the floor and they were referred to as ‘models’ Also, those who applied to be models but weren’t attractive enough were put in the stockroom. There is a dehumanizing script the company provides to their hiring managers to use while recruiting and interviewing their potential workers. A&F home office used to send photos of what type of people to hire by sending in ‘example photos’ of what they’re looking for in an attractive asian, black, hispanic, white, etc. person who you might want to recruit to work in stores. It’s REAL. This company is the epitome of racism & hate. I absolutely hated my job. Needless to say, I no longer work there.

Michelle Rattigan May 21, 2013 at 12:34 pm

The fact that A&F seem to have an ” all white, all right” policy in their stores always put me off. Also Mike Jefferies is a bit of a misfortune. He has a bride of wildenstein look to him and looks like a bit of a hitler super race reject. There is something sad about a grown man who tries to be ‘down’ with the cool kids. I think every writer, artist and singer I admire are the opposite of ‘cool kids.’ He reminds me of the episode of friends where Monica goes out with the cool kid from high school and finds out hes still the cool kid from high school( in his head). Oh and as for being too fat for the clothes.Sure, I have a fat ass.But my hubby tells me that I can move it like an fxxking blender!

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