I don't think I have ever been in an Abercrombie & Fitch. I was always turned off by the blaring music and strong smell of cologne lingering in the air. The atmosphere reminded me of the dances held at the all boys high school back when I was a teenager. Those are memories I do not wish to relive. Once, I think I may have made it as far as the front door before turning around. I guess that's a good thing because I found out today that they do not carry XL or XXL sizes of women’s clothing. They do cater to XL and XXL men however, stating they are “athletic.”
Two of Abercrombie’s biggest competitors, H&M and American Eagle, both offer up to size XXL for both men and women.The largest women’s pants available at Abercrombie are a size 10, while H&M and American Eagle go up to sizes 16 and 18 respectively. In fact, I was pleased to see that H&M recently featured a plus-sized model in its latest swimwear collection.
Abercrombie's CEO Mike Jeffries does not want plus sized women, like me, shopping in his store because he doesn't want us to be seen wearing his brand. Somehow, putting the Abercrombie & Fitch logo across my double Ds somehow demeans the brand. I guess if the targeted customers see someone like me wearing Abercrombie something disastrous might happen. Would size 2 teenage girls really stop wearing the brand if they also sold larger sizes?
According to a 2006 interview with Salon, Jeffries said, “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.”
This a great lesson to be teaching our children. Here's to raising a generation of entitled bullies who will push around those they feel are lesser than them. What's next? Will braces be banned at all locations of Abercrombie and Fitch? Glasses? Special needs? Only those deemed perfect by the CEO will be allowed to enter the doors.
There are plenty of retailers that do not cater to larger sizes as well as retailers who only cater to plus sized women. The difference is that other brands have not publicly discriminated against women because of their size. Jeffries can take his elitist attitude and shove it.
According to Jeffries, I will never be a part of his “in crowd” and that is fine with me.