Abercrombie’s CEO? How about CE-no?

In our current time and day, many companies encourage women to love themselves– not matter their size and shape. Who are we to say what figure is perfect? Dove recently came out with a commercial telling women that they are too harsh on themselves by hiring a forensics artist to draw the ladies according to how they describe themselves. The Body Shop also took a brave step in advertising away from the norm of skinny models, and explaining that not everyone should aspire to be stick thin. This being said, there are people who cannot seem to put on weight, and they get bullied for their weight too. Learning to love your own body is a challenge for almost everyone these days, and it poses a challenge for a lot of girls and boys growing up. It is a cause of great distress for many, and heck know I have faced negative comments about my appearance. But society is changing into becoming more accepting and moving away from a one-sided look on beauty.

And then you get Abercrombie/Hollister and their chain of retail stores.


Here are some quotes from Abercrombie’s (and their related retail stores and brands) CEO, Mike Jeffries:

“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.”

“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.”

They aim to exclude and attract ‘model’ teenagers. Their jean sizes go up to a size 10 and they do not sell XL clothing. To be honest, their large sizes are quite small too. So how about all those girls who cannot fit into their clothes yet are surrounded by classmates who can? Especially for a place like America, where this company is based, and depression is one of the most common mental health disorder. We really do not need a whole million dollar company standing for encouraging this kind of segregation.

Then there are the t-shirts they choose to print…

l for loser

Because calling gymnasts a loser makes you so cool. Sorry not everyone surfs. two-wongs

And as a Chinese, I love being portrayed with slant eyes.

I wonder how they get these designs approved.

I get that this is their point of differentiation, and their brand image has successfully been associated with beautiful people. A lot of the times, you cannot get into the store without squeezing past attractive guys with washboard abs, but you know what? I really do not care enough for their idea of beauty to shop at their stores anymore. I do not want to associate myself with what they stand for, and for that, I will no longer be buying anything from them.

Hey, but you can just write me off as another unattractive girl voicing her opinions.

– Karen
P.s. my marketing class is over, so this is in no way another one of my marketing blog post assignments. I just felt so strongly about voicing my thoughts on this that I made this post.



9 thoughts on “Abercrombie’s CEO? How about CE-no?

  1. MrJohnson says:

    I’ve always not liked Abercrombie and Hollister. It always seemed to be geared towards the yuppie and stuck up crowd. Someone gave me an Abercrombie hoodie and I feel self conscious everytime I wear it. But it’s so warm cause of the fir inside!

    This statement that the CEO made seems so weird to me. I can’t see it being good for business. Making it public that you think only good looking people should wear your clothing? Most people aren’t good looking. If their branding became common knowledge I can’t even see too many good looking people wearing this stuff. It would make you appear so narcissistic and people would hate on you. You’d have to be only surrounded by good looking people to wear this to not get your ass kicked. “Hey look, that guy thinks he’s good looking..let’s get him!”

    Gymnastic bodies are hot! I’m not going to lie though, I’m Chinese too but that “Wong Brothers” shirt cracked me up. Hahaha. But still, it ain’t going to sell very well. I’m surprised too that something like this would get approved.

    • kalyrical says:

      LMAO! “Hey look, that guy thinks he’s good looking..let’s get him!”

      Yeah, I see your point. It’s like admitting that you see yourself as better than everyone else and you are douchey enough to flaunt it.

      I’ve been buying hollister/abercrombie for the past few years, but I never really had a particular favouring towards them. But my idea is that clothes are clothes, so I don’t really care. Unless if you pull some stunt like this making a bunch of people feeling like crap.

    • kalyrical says:

      Omg I laughed so many times throughout the video. Like when he pretended to talk in the CEO’s voice. and then he asked for the d-bag section of the store. #FitchTheHomeless

    • kalyrical says:

      Hmmm interesting. I don’t think I noticed some of the stuff this tumblr user mentions about the Dove ad (e.g. all Caucasian females). I thought I wasn’t as desensitized to ads around me and had higher awareness than this, but evidently not. Interesting read! Thanks for the share!

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