Los Angeles filmmaker Greg Karber gave a “brand readjustment” to Abercrombie & Fitch, which allegedly burns damaged clothing instead of donating it, by handing out old Abercrombie & Fitch items to homeless people.
Karber was responding to a recent report that Abercrombie & Fitch CEO Mike Jeffries does not even stock plus sizes at his stores because he doesn’t want large people wearing his clothes. In a 2006 Salon interview, Jefferies admitted "we go after the attractive all-American kid" and that "a lot of people don't belong in our clothes."
“Abercrombie & Fitch only wants a certain kind of person to be wearing their clothes,” Karber said in his short documentary hashtagged FitchtheHomeless.
“I travelled to a Los Angeles Good Will, where I scoured the racks for donated Abercrombie & Fitch clothing.” He then took the items to East Los Angeles, or Skid Row, an area of downtown L.A. that has one of the largest, stable populations of homeless people in the country.
At first, people wouldn’t accept the clothing, but Karber gave out all of the items before too long. In the video he asks others to help him readjust the Abercrombie & Fitch brand by taking all the A&F clothing they can find and giving them away at local homeless shelters.
Unlike competitors H&M and American Eagle, A&F does not carry XL or plus-size clothing. Their women’s pants only go up to size 10.
"[Jeffries] doesn't want larger people shopping in his store, he wants thin and beautiful people," Robin Lewis, co-author of “The New Rules of Retail” told Business Insider. "He doesn't want his core customers to see people who aren't as hot as them wearing his clothing. People who wear his clothing should feel like they're one of the 'cool kids.'"
In 2010, Abercrombie & Fitch was sued by a corporate jet pilot who said he was fired for being too old. Flight crew standards on the jet published by Bloomberg showed that attendants had to be young men and wear Abercrombie jeans, boxers, and cologne.
Jeffries told Salon in 2006 that sex appeal is the foundation of the brand. “It’s almost everything. 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 said.
He said the brand is only meant for ‘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,” he told Salon. “A lot of people don’t belong [in our clothes], and they can’t belong. Are we exclusionary? Absolutely."