I’ve never blasted a brand publicly before. I’ve never taken such issue with something so strongly but I feel it’s necessary to put this brand in the hot seat for it’s horrible brand ideals.
It recently came to my attention that the CEO of Abercrombie & Fitch, Mike Jeffries was quoted saying the following about his brand in 2006:
“That’s why we hire good-looking people in our stores,” Jeffries said. “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 went on: “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.”
This is one of the most popular brands among tweens and teens and this is your ultimate goal? I even see some of my adult friends sporting their favorite tees and this is what the brand represents – not impressed. Quite frankly it angers me.
I take serious issue with this marketing approach and the implications it has on our children – both boys and girls. What messages are we sending them? That you can only be worthy of being ‘cool’ if you look the part? There is no merit to personality, educational or personal accomplishments nor how you are as a friend and human being?
What is wrong with this picture people?
I guess I should have figured this was their message when all of their life-sized posters depicted such images – shame on me for sticking my head in the sand and giving them the benefit of the doubt. I never in my life thought that their CEO actually looked to exclude a specific set of kids. And then to actually state that out loud?
It’s hard enough to be a teen these days, let alone to feel excluded because you can’t afford, fit or otherwise be able to shop in a specific store because you don’t fit into a certain mold. Abercrombie & Fitch is part of the ever expanding self-image issues that teens have these days. They are far worse than they were when I was growing up (pre-internet, dating myself here), and believe me, there were plenty then. We have teens exploiting themselves online begging for people to tell them they are pretty through Instagram photo contests and Youtube videos – it’s a disheartening trend of insecurity and I am fearful for the future of our youth’s feelings of self-worth.
We should not be supporting a brand that perpetuates their issues even more.
It’s no secret I grew up of very meager means. I was the thrift store kid – Abercrombie and Fitch was not on my radar, nor within our budget. But, I actually take pride in the fact that if my girls want a specific brand, we could manage to get it for them, within reason. But, I tell you what, we’ll be steering clear of brands that promote “thin, cool and exclusivity” as their mantra.
They’ll look fantastic without that A&F logo on their hoodie. Thankyouverymuch.
Image via Flickr/lifeSkies