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No Fat or Ugly People Wanted Wearing A & F Clothing Options · View
Rembacher
Posted: Friday, May 17, 2013 1:58:03 PM

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This is an old story which has seen new light lately. In 2006 the CEO of Abercrombie and Fitch made comments about how his company does not cater too fat people because he doesn't want them seen wearing his clothes. The company apparently also would rather destroy damaged clothing than see it be given to shelters and worn by homeless people.

According to the Huffington Post, the news of this stance has seen the brand take a huge hit to its public perception.

Abercrombie Reputation Takes a Hit

Forbes sees it another way...claiming that while it may cost A&F a few customers, the statements will actually increase the loyalty of A&F's current customers who now more than ever will feel as if they are part of the "cool group."

Perverse Brilliance

Unless this #Fitchthehomeless campaign stops that, of course. The stated goal of the campaign is to make A&F the number one apparel of the homeless:



So, what say you lush? Is this a horrible, elitist, exclusionary tactic, or just maintaining a strong brand image? Does it change the way you look at the company, or whether you will purchase from it?
Guest
Posted: Friday, May 17, 2013 2:05:13 PM

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Other than the CEO coming out and stating it, its not really news that companies do this. Have you seen the XL sizes for Firetrap, Diesel, Superdry etc? They dont fit anyone thats even remotely fat. You've got to be in good shape to get into any of their clothing.
Metilda
Posted: Friday, May 17, 2013 2:10:05 PM

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Who cares? Honestly - it's a series of name brand, over priced jeans and t-shirts. They are essentially no different in quality than anything you'd buy from Target or Hot Topics.

I don't need to shop with the weenie tweenies to feel 'good' about myself.

Sorry - they don't sell Tall XXL? Not like I'm shopping there for my husband, anyway, when he needs some new T's.

Aside that - having an XXL husband . . . I know there are countless brands and stores out there who ONLY cater to those who are larger and heavier and they do NOT sell XS and M - at all.

So reverse it...if it's fair practice to not produce/sell 'regular' sizes - then there really should be no problem with a store/brand not going plus size.

Of course - its absurd jeuvenility (suitable for the Abercrombie crowd, it seems) to think that 'cool' means 'thin.' Back in my day of being anorexic 'thin' was 'sickly thin' and 'highly unhealthy' and entirely 'not cool at all but a sign of needing serious medical help.'

Do you have any idea how hard it was to find clothes that were petite size 0? . . . I missed my time to sue for discrimination!

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Guest
Posted: Friday, May 17, 2013 5:11:50 PM

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What I am more angry about is this guys exploitation of the homeless and his plea that everyone exploit the homeless. If A+F doesn't want to sell large clothing thats their loss. One of their largest demographics is americans and americans are large. If they don't want to capitalize on the millions of americans who are overweight, thats on them it doesn't seem like a smart business strategy but its theirs to make. I don't understand why bigger people and their sympathizers are getting all angry about the decision of a privatized company to NOT capitalize on a very large (no pun intended) market.
Metilda
Posted: Friday, May 17, 2013 10:15:10 PM

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The average runs around 30% of US adults being obese (BMI of over 30%) (differs according to statistics source)

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LadyX
Posted: Saturday, May 18, 2013 10:41:05 AM

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Joined: 9/25/2009
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Like most things that offend, its not what was said but how it was said, and the underlying worldview that was exposed. I hope enough AF clothes get donated to clothe every homeless person from coast to coast LOL.

All he had to say was that their marketing vision has always been consistent with what's in the stores now. There are a hundred ways to spin it to not openly offend plus-size shoppers, and he chose none of them.
crazydiamond
Posted: Saturday, May 18, 2013 11:28:54 AM

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Location: Exactly where I should be!, Canada
I've never heard of Ambercrombie and fitch?

Dancing_Doll
Posted: Saturday, May 18, 2013 11:33:29 AM

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Well... I have actually donated some Abercrombie stuff to Goodwill/Salvation Army. The homeless comment was ridiculous.

As for the sizing - most designer/boutique/brand sizes are much smaller than the mass-marketed basic brand stuff at Walmart, Target etc. Abercrombie's sizes aren't out of the norm on that one and they aren't outrageously small either. A&F has always been about selling a 'cool kids' brand though - from the store lighting/music/noxious-fragrance shopping experience to their advertising look and the models they use. Admittedly I used to wear a lot of it in my teens and early twenties. I still like some of their basics. They're nice clothes, well made (their vintagey sportswear/sweats in particular *are* amazing quality) and I like the fit.

The CEO is obviously a bit douchey, but it's probably the unspoken sentiment of a lot luxury brands, so it is what it is. A brand of clothing is just that - a brand. It's up to them to decide the styles, sizes, look. If you like it, buy it, if you don't, then don't. Same as bars with dress codes and velvet ropes. Yes, they'd probably make more money if they catered to every single demographic but the idea of 'exclusivity' is obviously making them a pretty penny. It's just a different business strategy.


elitfromnorth
Posted: Saturday, May 18, 2013 11:54:51 AM

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The only way you can get away with being in the top of the foodchain of the market(i.e. not being percieved as a walmart manufacturer, but something cool and top of the line) you can't have "fat" people wearing your stuff. "Fat" people are the normal ones, and you don't want the image that "normal" people wear your clothes. It's the cool and trendy people, the type that everyone wants to be like. So, in turn other people will buy the same brand of stuff to be part of this group of cool people.

It is by far cynicism and exclusion on it's best, but that's just how it is. I've noticed it a lot around here too. Unless I go to one of the typical "suit" stores, I'll rarely find jeans in my size. I wouldn't say that 42" waist is really that big. It's more due to the fact that I'm so bloody tall, yet I'm sent to the "freak" department. I don't really care. Usually the people at that shop are more helpful, friendly and know their stuff better than the chick working at the top notch shops selling the top brands.

But this is capitalism for you. Capitalism cares only about the money and because of that has no problem considering people with certain characaristics as undesirable. In most cases it's "fat" people.

"It's at that point you realise Lady Luck is actually a hooker, and you're fresh out of cash."
crazydiamond
Posted: Saturday, May 18, 2013 12:12:29 PM

Rank: Clever Gem

Joined: 7/17/2011
Posts: 2,286
Location: Exactly where I should be!, Canada
elitfromnorth wrote:
The only way you can get away with being in the top of the foodchain of the market(i.e. not being percieved as a walmart manufacturer, but something cool and top of the line) you can't have "fat" people wearing your stuff. "Fat" people are the normal ones, and you don't want the image that "normal" people wear your clothes. It's the cool and trendy people, the type that everyone wants to be like. So, in turn other people will buy the same brand of stuff to be part of this group of cool people.

It is by far cynicism and exclusion on it's best, but that's just how it is. I've noticed it a lot around here too. Unless I go to one of the typical "suit" stores, I'll rarely find jeans in my size. I wouldn't say that 42" waist is really that big. It's more due to the fact that I'm so bloody tall, yet I'm sent to the "freak" department. I don't really care. Usually the people at that shop are more helpful, friendly and know their stuff better than the chick working at the top notch shops selling the top brands.

But this is capitalism for you. Capitalism cares only about the money and because of that has no problem considering people with certain characaristics as undesirable. In most cases it's "fat" people.



Oh Thor... You are just size RAWRRRRRR! bunny I like staring into your belly button whilst standing x

Guest
Posted: Saturday, May 18, 2013 12:49:49 PM

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LadyX wrote:
Like most things that offend, its not what was said but how it was said, and the underlying worldview that was exposed. I hope enough AF clothes get donated to clothe every homeless person from coast to coast LOL.

All he had to say was that their marketing vision has always been consistent with what's in the stores now. There are a hundred ways to spin it to not openly offend plus-size shoppers, and he chose none of them.


I agree that a lot of the anger is over his callousness and his delivery but honestly this whole clothe the homeless campaign is despicable. It's spiteful and exploits the homeless simply so that some hollywood hipster and his followers can childishly stick it to some douche bag that people should pay little attention too. I have bought A&F and Hollister (they're the same brand) clothes for years, personally I like the way they fit me and I like a lot of their designs. I'm sure most plus sized women don't fit into clothes offered by dozens of other brands like Juicy, Louis, Burberry, even Forever 21, who segregates larger clothes to an entirely different store. I do not think its right that people exploit the homeless in order to "punish" a man for being upfront about his business decisions.
Rembacher
Posted: Saturday, May 18, 2013 1:33:24 PM

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Joined: 10/16/2008
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BabblingBrooke wrote:


I agree that a lot of the anger is over his callousness and his delivery but honestly this whole clothe the homeless campaign is despicable. It's spiteful and exploits the homeless simply so that some hollywood hipster and his followers can childishly stick it to some douche bag that people should pay little attention too. I have bought A&F and Hollister (they're the same brand) clothes for years, personally I like the way they fit me and I like a lot of their designs. I'm sure most plus sized women don't fit into clothes offered by dozens of other brands like Juicy, Louis, Burberry, even Forever 21, who segregates larger clothes to an entirely different store. I do not think its right that people exploit the homeless in order to "punish" a man for being upfront about his business decisions.


I'm not sure I agree with you that this is exploitation of the homeless. To me it seems more like self-righteous indignation, turned into action to "make things right." This is a brand that publicly admits it would rather burn its clothing than see it in the hands of the less fortunate. For those who live and work among the less fortunate, that is an extremely callous thought. Maybe again the tone is wrong, but what's wrong with giving this clothing to those who need it? Who knows, maybe if the company gets used to seeing its clothing on the less fortunate, it will be more willing to donate in the future.
Frank
Posted: Saturday, May 18, 2013 5:12:46 PM

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Guest
Posted: Sunday, May 19, 2013 1:12:02 PM

Rank: Lurker

Joined: 12/1/2006
Posts: 537,966
Rembacher wrote:
I'm not sure I agree with you that this is exploitation of the homeless. To me it seems more like self-righteous indignation, turned into action to "make things right." This is a brand that publicly admits it would rather burn its clothing than see it in the hands of the less fortunate. For those who live and work among the less fortunate, that is an extremely callous thought. Maybe again the tone is wrong, but what's wrong with giving this clothing to those who need it? Who knows, maybe if the company gets used to seeing its clothing on the less fortunate, it will be more willing to donate in the future.


Louis Vuitton does the same thing with their outdated, unsold styles. Its despicable and a waste but some spiteful hipster is not going to change their ways. To me it seems like this guy is taking advantage of the fact that the homeless are among those who A+F dont want to see in their clothes and he is going against their marketing strategy defiantly. I think it would be the same thing if someone ironed a bunch of A&F moose logos onto plus sized clothes and did a photoshoot or something, he is using their situation out of spite and I don't agree with it.
Ruthie
Posted: Sunday, May 19, 2013 6:32:03 PM

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Location: United States
I find it hard to believe that they would destroy clothing rather than give it to the homeless. From a purely pragmatic point of view, that's just stupid. Why not donate them to the Salvation Army, or some other charity and write them off their taxes?

On the other hand, this does seem very typical of the hatred that a lot of people seem to have for the poor these days.
elitfromnorth
Posted: Sunday, May 19, 2013 7:09:54 PM

Rank: Brawling Berserker

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Location: Burrowed, Norway
CoopsRuthie wrote:
I find it hard to believe that they would destroy clothing rather than give it to the homeless. From a purely pragmatic point of view, that's just stupid. Why not donate them to the Salvation Army, or some other charity and write them off their taxes?

On the other hand, this does seem very typical of the hatred that a lot of people seem to have for the poor these days.


It's not about the whole "Hatred for poor people", it's simply bad for business. They're not trying to be one of the lower end types, they want to appeal to the rich and those with a lot of money to spend on clothes. If the upper middle class is your target group, and the vain ones in this class as well, then having homeless people wear the same brand isn't good for business. After all, can you imagine watching a 17 yo cheerleader stereotype wearing the same jeans as a homeless woman?

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Kitanica
Posted: Sunday, May 19, 2013 8:34:30 PM

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Not donating clothes is just wrong but I can't help but see their point considering it keeps them high end so they can continue to charge outrageous prices to people dumb enough to shop there.
Rich people are assholes, if they think a 70$ t shirt makes them cooler and superior theyll buy it.
If they see poor people wearing it they won't want it, and then the company makes less money which isn't acceptable. It won't hurt a&f at all. theyll only change if their customers stop buying their product.

if I had the money I'd shop there myself considering its impossible to find anything that fits elsewhere unless I want to shop in a kids section. So they have no reason to change
Buz
Posted: Sunday, May 19, 2013 9:03:41 PM

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While society has grown toward the obese, its still not cool to make fun of overweight people. As far as A&F, they are just selling an image that makes money for them. That doesn't bother me. They have a target market that does not include heavier people. If you follow demographics, you'll see that obesity is more common in lower income groups. Obviously A&F markets accordingly and advertises for trendy slim wealthy people. There is a market niche for everything.

If the need for homeless and needy people to have clothes donated gets attention from all this then good! I volunteer at a homeless shelter and feeding ministry. Most of those people suffer from mental problems and cannot hold down jobs and cannot care very well for themselves. Their families got tired of their problems and the government does not help them. If you have some old clothes that you don't wear, please donate them to some shelters. If some of those are A&F so what?

Guest
Posted: Monday, May 20, 2013 11:57:14 AM

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I love this response, http://www.buzzfeed.com/summeranne/abercrombie-fitch-ads-re-imagined-as-attractive-fat, it is ten times better than the whole exploitation of the homeless thing!
Rembacher
Posted: Monday, May 20, 2013 3:35:09 PM

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Joined: 10/16/2008
Posts: 1,106
BabblingBrooke wrote:
I love this response, http://www.buzzfeed.com/summeranne/abercrombie-fitch-ads-re-imagined-as-attractive-fat, it is ten times better than the whole exploitation of the homeless thing!


I'm still confused. What's the difference? If giving the clothes to the homeless and documenting it is exploiting the homeless, isn't this exploiting "fat people" to make pretty much the same point? If anything, this doesn't have the social benefit of giving clothes to those who need them.
foxjack
Posted: Monday, May 20, 2013 3:37:24 PM

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I like that the company is doing this, it will make it easier for us to spot out the douche bags.
EDWolfe
Posted: Monday, May 20, 2013 11:22:42 PM

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I don't see the problem in donating "out of style" clothes to homeless shelters, or offering plus size clothes. After all, donating clothes to homeless shelters is not only a PR boost and tax write-off, it's a way to help out your communities. Offering plus sizes is a gamble, like any business venture, but is a way to offer your product to a larger clientele.

It is a fact that many businesses decide to ignore the homeless for most of the year, only dedicating maybe a month at maximum to collecting food, clothes and money to help those less fortunate. In my area, there are a number of grocery stores who donate near-expired products like milk and meat to food banks; others take this same product and use it for a compost pile, in an effort to be "green."

I'm not surprised at the A&F decision; clothing dealers are known for outsourcing production to poorer countries, paying low wages, and pocketing the profit they made from doing so. I can't say I agree with these decisions, however.

@foxjack: Agreed.
LadyX
Posted: Monday, May 20, 2013 11:34:26 PM

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BabblingBrooke wrote:
I love this response, http://www.buzzfeed.com/summeranne/abercrombie-fitch-ads-re-imagined-as-attractive-fat, it is ten times better than the whole exploitation of the homeless thing!


So a Buzzfeed bit on overweight people shilling for A&F is better than actually clothing people? Admittedly I do detect a bit of unseemly pandering in both the Buzzfeed link you provided and the 'A&F for the Homeless' campaign, but to take meaningful offense here on behalf of the homeless sort of depends on a homeless person giving a fuck about the politics of fashion douchebaggery, and whether or not they've become a pawn within it. More than likely, your average overpass resident will wait until he has clothes on his back, a steady paycheck, and a roof over his head before worrying about whether he's become an internet meme among hipsters and college kids. Only then, with the aid of a smartphone and a wifi connection, might he mildly resent the ironic origins behind the designer shirt that actually kept him warm and dry at the time it was given. Though I think it's more likely that he'll strongly resent the mall-peddler who openly disdains the less-attractive, the poor and the overweight, and is dumb enough to express it publicly.

Now, if we take a bunch of .jpgs and start a Tumblr of homeless dudes in A&F gear, I agree that's a little weird. But to subtly but steadily, one consumer at a time, poke this dickhead in the ribs, and help somebody in the process? I fail to be outraged by that.
overmykneenow
Posted: Tuesday, May 21, 2013 1:51:27 AM

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I don't shop in A+F because I don't want to dress like the sort of person who does.



Warning: The opinions above are those of an anonymous individual on the internet. They are opinions, unless they're facts. They may be ill-informed, out of touch with reality or just plain stupid. They may contain traces of irony. If reading these opinions causes you to be become outraged or you start displaying the symptoms of outrage, stop reading them immediately. If symptoms persist, consult a psychiatrist.

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Dancing_Doll
Posted: Tuesday, May 21, 2013 9:18:53 AM

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This thread made me remember those old MadTV skits on Abercrombie. They were always hilarious.




BelleduJour
Posted: Tuesday, May 21, 2013 9:33:03 AM

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Joined: 11/13/2011
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Buz wrote:
While society has grown toward the obese, its still not cool to make fun of overweight people. As far as A&F, they are just selling an image that makes money for them. That doesn't bother me. They have a target market that does not include heavier people. If you follow demographics, you'll see that obesity is more common in lower income groups. Obviously A&F markets accordingly and advertises for trendy slim wealthy people. There is a market niche for everything.

If the need for homeless and needy people to have clothes donated gets attention from all this then good! I volunteer at a homeless shelter and feeding ministry. Most of those people suffer from mental problems and cannot hold down jobs and cannot care very well for themselves. Their families got tired of their problems and the government does not help them. If you have some old clothes that you don't wear, please donate them to some shelters. If some of those are A&F so what?


Couldn't have said it better myself.

Guest
Posted: Thursday, May 23, 2013 3:25:58 PM

Rank: Lurker

Joined: 12/1/2006
Posts: 537,966
LadyX wrote:


So a Buzzfeed bit on overweight people shilling for A&F is better than actually clothing people? Admittedly I do detect a bit of unseemly pandering in both the Buzzfeed link you provided and the 'A&F for the Homeless' campaign, but to take meaningful offense here on behalf of the homeless sort of depends on a homeless person giving a fuck about the politics of fashion douchebaggery, and whether or not they've become a pawn within it. More than likely, your average overpass resident will wait until he has clothes on his back, a steady paycheck, and a roof over his head before worrying about whether he's become an internet meme among hipsters and college kids. Only then, with the aid of a smartphone and a wifi connection, might he mildly resent the ironic origins behind the designer shirt that actually kept him warm and dry at the time it was given. Though I think it's more likely that he'll strongly resent the mall-peddler who openly disdains the less-attractive, the poor and the overweight, and is dumb enough to express it publicly.

Now, if we take a bunch of .jpgs and start a Tumblr of homeless dudes in A&F gear, I agree that's a little weird. But to subtly but steadily, one consumer at a time, poke this dickhead in the ribs, and help somebody in the process? I fail to be outraged by that.


you make some good points, and some homeless people may agree, its free clothes who the fuck cares, but I don't think its fair to generalize that all homeless people are ignorant to all the "fashion douchebaggery" or the fact that they are being used as "Pawns." I think some very well might care and that is why I am more upset by this campaign than I am about the whole no fatties thing.
Mazza
Posted: Sunday, May 26, 2013 1:38:22 PM

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Ha ha, just saw this on FB
PrincessC
Posted: Sunday, June 02, 2013 5:43:34 AM

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Location: South Africa
Honestly have you seen the CEO, those in glass houses and all that. bs

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