A plus-size blogger has created a mock-Abercrombie & Fitch advertisement in response to CEO Mike Jeffries, who refuses to sell XL or Plus sizes in the store.
Blogger Jes M. Baker posed in Abercrombie’s size large t-shirts with a male model and titled the ads “Attractive & Fat.”
"[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 this month. "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.'"
“That’s why we hire good-looking people in our stores,” Jeffries told Salon during a 2006 interview. “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.”
“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 said. “A lot of people don’t belong [in our clothes], and they can’t belong. Are we exclusionary? Absolutely."
Baker wrote an open letter to Jefferies calling his tactics sizeism.
“I was inspired by the opportunity to show that I am secure in my skin and to flaunt this by using the controversial platform that you created,” Baker wrote. “I challenge the separation of attractive and fat, and I assert that they are compatible regardless of what you believe.”
On Monday, Ellen DeGeneres talked about Jeffries’ remarks on her show. “According to him, anyone who is a plus size isn’t cool enough to shop at Abercrombie and Fitch. You know what I say? Oh Fitch, please.”
She later added, “What you look like on the outside is not what makes you cool at all. I mean, I had a mullet and I wore parachute pants for a long, long time. And I’m doin’ OK.”
A Los Angeles filmmaker, Greg Karber, created a video this month in which he goes to a Goodwill and hunts for Abercrombie clothes and hands them out to homeless people. Karber gave the clothes away after learning the store burns leftover clothing, rather than donating it to the needy.
“While I believe this 7-year-old, resurrected quote has been taken out of context,” Jeffries recently wrote on the company’s Facebook page, “I sincerely regret that my choice of words was interpreted in a manner that has caused offense.”
He did not apologize for the comments.