Everybody loves a good villain. Somebody that everybody can agree is a huge jackass. This week’s jackass is Michael Jeffries, CEO of Abercrombie and Fitch.
Jeffries is the current target of the internet’s collective hate due to an old interview that recently resurfaced where he said some pretty fucked up things about who is and isn’t supposed to wear A&F clothes –
[W]e 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.
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.
The whole “attractive, good looking people” remarks were instantly recognized as meme-able since Jeffries looks like he’s had… a few plastic surgeries. Like, so many plastic surgeries that he’s probably had to fly to Mexico for the last couple of facelifts because American doctors won’t touch him anymore. totallylookslike.com has made more than a few comparisons of him to some famous people –
In addition to that, there’s a strict “no fat chicks” policy at A&F so they don’t make XL women’s sizes and one manager said that they don’t want to see poor people wearing their clothes. This prompted somebody to start a new campaign to “rebrand” A&F”.
Pretty clever, right? Some homeless people get new clothes and A&F gets a hearty “Fuck you!” Everybody wins, right?
Wrong! Apparently there’s now online backlash against the backlash against Abercrombie! Backlashception!
There’s a lot of blogs pointing out that while Mike Jeffries is a total douche, the “Fitch the Homeless” video is using homeless people as props and exploiting them to prove a point. Even a lot of comments on the video point out that a much more effective protest would just be a simple boycott but I’m not so sure.
I understand why people would think that the homeless people are being exploited. One could easily think that the Fitch the Homeless campaign is trying to make A&F look bad by putting it’s clothes on the ugly, dirty, gross, sub-human homeless but is that really what’s going on? By giving A&F clothes to homeless people is the Fitch the Homeless campaign trying to make the company look bad or are they saying “Abercrombie doesn’t think you’re good enough for these clothes. We disagree.”
Whether it’s righteous or not, the Fitch the Homeless campaign has got the attention of Abercrombie enough to have them issue a bullshit non-apology on their facebook –
Ultimately, this will all probably blow over and Abercrombie will survive because most people willing to pay $40 for a pink t shirt that looks like it’s been through the wash 100 times just to look cool isn’t really that interested in social justice.