If you don't know what Abercrombie & Fitch is, they're the clothes your date rapist wears. If you haven't heard about Abercrombie & Fitch's crazy, high-school-movie-villain-caliber "cool kid" policies, well, welcome to the Internet. Careful where you step; there's porn literally everywhere. Here's A&F CEO Michael Jeffries, who says:
"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."
Well, that seems kind of shitty, but maybe it's taken out of context. Maybe he's just rehashing some marketing speak and doesn't fully understand the implications. But then there's the Business Insider article that kickstarted this recent shitstorm (man, who would have thought "shitstorm" would make its Kickstarter goals?). The piece pointed out that the largest female size A&F sells is a 10. In the ensuing Reddit thread, alleged former employees related how they slashed rejected clothes to make them unusable by the homeless and were instructed to hire only attractive, young salespeople.
Now, I'm not such a sobbing liberal that I think shit like this should be illegal or regulated -- this is a private business, and they should absolutely be allowed to fleece callow high schoolers with subpar $75 cargo shorts however they see fit. I'm not even surprised that these amoral practices exist. Marketing people are all, to a one, disgusting lampreys suckling from the withered veins of capitalism's ugly underbelly. I'm just surprised that A&F is still trying it. The Internet loves this shit. I mean, these policies may have actually played in the old days, because short of a high-profile news expose, most people wouldn't have known about it. Back in the day, you could keep your "no uggos" policy a dirty little secret, and some people might genuinely be fooled into thinking that "only the most attractive people wear those clothes that look like the bottom drawer of an unemployed surfer's wardrobe; I must join them."