Abercrombie & Fitch Is, Like, So Sorry For Being Exclusionary Jerks

abercrombie & fitch mike jeffries apology

After ridiculous comments made by Abercrombie & Fitch CEO Mike Jeffries resurfaced recently, the brand’s image took a downturn. Rather, it became even less relevant than it already was, metaphorically going from a silly, strongly-scented creep in the distance to a thrashing drunk dude at a show who won’t stop hitting you with his Northface backpack that’s barely concealing the bong that’s been dripping filthy water all over the floor. That guy. That is A&F.

Anyway, they want you to know they are, like, so sorry! Kind of. And they want to change for you! Kind of.

A group of teen activists traveled to A&F’s Columbus, Ohio headquarters to protest their exclusive guidelines and the notion of their “ideal customers.”

The activists were invited into the building for a meeting with A&F executives, and for two hours, they urged the company to reconsider its position on size limitations, reduce the blatant sexualization of its ads, expand its choice of models and support teen education programs focusing on anti-bullying and diversity.

One of the protestors, Benjamin O’Keefe, is a Florida teen who’s recovered from an eating disorder, and was the individual who started the Change.org petition against Abercrombie & Fitch’s practices. A&F executives invited the protestors to come into the headquarters and discuss the issues they have with the company. After this publicity stunt meeting, A&F released this statement.

“We look forward to continuing this dialogue and taking concrete steps to demonstrate our commitment to anti-bullying in addition to our ongoing support of diversity and inclusion. We want to reiterate that we sincerely regret and apologize for any offense caused by comments we have made in the past which are contrary to these values.”

Oh, you’re sorry because everyone hates you now and you’re afraid of your stocks falling your comments and practices discourage inclusivity and diversity? Well, good, I guess. But what’s that saying that is absolutely applicable here? “Too little too late”? Yes. That one.

While we think that A&F absolutely should change their image, as they are still a brand that is inexplicably popular in some places, we know they — nor most other mainstream brands — will include models like Jes at the Militant Baker, whose fake ads were damn good.

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    • Sami Jankins

      Whenever I read these articles on Abercrombie, I immediately think of the sketch Goat Face Comedy did -http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_detailpage&v=lWlynakmlOM

    • Rubberman

      Once upon a time… A&F was the go-to place for treking cruft that you could not get anywhere else. Need an elephant gun? See A&F. Need a tiger trap? Ditto. Now, they are just another youth-oriented clothing purveyor – nothing special there! :-(

      • fiveseven15

        and sears was the place to go buy heroin and needles…A&F is garbage anyway, but i honestly think people are making waaayy too big a deal about this statement that was made seven years ago….theres HAS to be better things to do…

      • Srsly

        But if we turn away from these shallow and less-meaningful issues, the only thing that will be left will be hard stuff like abortion, illegal immigration, and gender/orientation equality.

    • http://www.facebook.com/FAC01123 Frank Churchill

      These institutions are no longer valid in the new world http://ovisarie.com/multiple-sclerosis-b12-deficiency/

    • Matthew Brown

      A&F is symptomatic of the entire fashion industry. You can’t wear fashionable clothes and eat unless you are willing to stick your finger in your throat. The entire industry is profiting from pushing unhealthy and unobtainable body images, making young people hate themselves for not being perfect like fake plastic models. The entire industry is a public nuisance, and can die in a fire.

      • S.Evans

        And yet, at the same time, Obesity is the number one health crises in America.

        I admit their body images aren’t entirely consistent with reality, (well most people’s reality, I’m 6’3″ and weight less than 140lbs), but while everyone in the world doesn’t need to crash into a reduced calorie diet (I do it for other medical reasons), they DO at least need to get within the sane BMI range.

        No one who’s obese can complain about A&F, and all the chronic eaters here should keep their traps closed both about A&F and at the dinner table. As long as we FORCE industries to shift to using “world typical” models and stocking sizes in the “I’m so fat I can barely get out of bed” sizes the world will keep on growing . . . or at least the American Waist Size of it.

        Endorsing or ignoring unhealthy eating habits is worse than showing an example of obsessively healthy eating habits, to the point where the obsession itself becomes an issue anyway.

      • Alex

        I loooove how “new tolerance” is showing how tolerant you are by being absurdly intolerant of anyone you perceive as being intolerant. If I decide tomorrow that I’m going to open a business who’s target market is hispanic, female strippers between 5’7″ and 5’9″ who wear eight inch heels and go by the stage name “carla”, then that’s my right. Why? Because I live in free country. The worst threat to our way of life isn’t people like A&F, nor is it people like the teens protesting outside, it’s pukes like the author who genuinely feel that their version of “public morality” should be inflicted on everyone in the name of tolerance. Does anyone else see the irony here?

      • Chuck

        I think you are taking things waaaaay too far. Are you intentionally obtuse, or is it genetic? They aren’t perpetuating fake body images, they are making clothes in up to a large size. Anyone who is a healthy body weight is going to fit into a large. If you aren’t a healthy body weight? Eat a fucking salad. I’m so sick of the “nothing is ever my responsibility!” mindset. If you are overweight, it is one person’s fault… yours. It’s not A&F’s fault you can’t shoehorn yourself into a large t-shirt.

    • Ben

      It actually wasn’t a publicity stunt. They wanted it to be out of the news.

      • fiveseven15

        they got their wish. this is as far from the news as you can get

    • Matthew

      This is a pretty poorly-written article.

    • fiveseven15

      and they are different than other brand-name clothing stores…..how? yeah, some name brands offer larger sizes, but up to a certain point. sizing between brands is so off anyway i don’t think it matters all that much. so they only offer clothes up to L (example). what do you WANT them to offer to XL? XXL? XXXXXXL? where does it stop? is target discriminating and bullying because they don’t carry anything for the morbidly obese?
      he said what their target demographic was. he never said anything ‘mean’ or ‘bullying’. he stated what the kind of image they are marketing towards, and thats it. way to beat a dead horse.. (one thats been dead for 7 years)

    • Jamie Bothen

      Don’t really understand the hype. Lane Bryant doesn’t make clothes to fit me-size 6- but only has stuff that fits size 12 & up. A lot of stores just cater to bigger women so why can’t a store cater to smaller- like the 5-7-9 stores do.

      • GhostfaceWankah

        The point is, Lane Bryant carries size 12 and up BECAUSE most of the other stores don’t carry those sizes. The problem isn’t the sizes they’re carrying, it’s that thy are being douches about it.

      • Michael Smith

        lol, because going into a store that only caters to fat women makes them feel fat. It destroys the fat delusion and thus makes them feel fat shamed instead of just dealing with their own body issues.

    • lacrossestar83

      No, she doesn’t.

    • snoebay88

      The CEO needs to look at himself first.

    • Meredith

      On the one hand, I congratulate these teens. On the other hand, I also feel like the best way to show one’s disapproval of a brand and its philosophy is to simply NOT BUY THEIR STUFF.
      And it’s not as if one will suffer terribly if one cannot shop at one of the most over-priced, under-inspired mid-range clothing lines to date. Seriously, have you looked at their stuff? Miserable.
      A&F will continue to be my one-stop shop for beautiful but pretty-damn-homoerotic pictures of young men, and nothing else.
      Oh, and by the way? Attached is a picture of Mike Jeffries, A&F CEO. Something tells me Mike Jeffries doesn’t want Mike Jeffries to shop at A&F, either. I’d recommend he go shopping at Target. They’ve got a lovely collection of paper bags in all the freshest summer styles.

      Photo credit: Dailymail.co.uk

    • tfmustI

      And whiny, pathetic douches who want to rule the world keep on crying because they don’t. Just don’t shop there if you don’t like them. A wise man once said “political correctness is tyranny with manners”. I believe it was Charleton Heston.

    • CandyAzz

      I doubt it but It definitely looks like a guy’s hand is on Ryan ’s ass… not that there’s anything wrong with that. I love this ! So does my boyfriend, he’s 32 years older than me, a millionaire, a doctor ,and a soldier who enjoys cleansing our colons while I am wearing my Knockoff Karlee and Kandee Kardashen Kiddee Klothing Konnection Kollection and he’s buying penny stocks online !

    • Lake

      Why let it bother ? There is a place in business for everyone. I would never shop or wear A & F clothing for several reasons inclusive of age, body, feelings of wearing “labels”, etc. Let those with more money than brains or at least those who want to present that image make Mr. Jeffries even richer. We all have the same opportunity …..