Abercrombie & Fitch CEO slammed for targeting thin customers in comments made seven years ago

Shereen Dindar
Contributing Writer
Shine On

Abercromie & Fitch CEO Mike Jeffries is under fire for comments he made in an interview seven years ago where he indicated the clothing giant isn't interested in selling clothes to overweight customers.

A recent Business Insider article from last week brought to light comments made by the Abercrombie & Fitch CEO in a 2006 Salon interview.

Business Insider's article juxtaposed Jeffries' statements about wanting to exclusively target thin, beautiful, popular, and cool people against a recent move by H&M to feature plus-size models for a swimsuit line.

In response to how important sex appeal is to his marketing, Jeffries says it's everything, and the reason why the clothing retailer only hires good looking people.

"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," Jeffries said at the time.

"A lot of people don’t belong [in our clothes], and they can’t belong. Are we exclusionary? Absolutely."

Also see: H&M uses plus-size model to showcase swimwear collection

Well hey, at least he's honest about it.

The company, which has four stores in Canada, does not sell large or extra large sizes for women and stops at size 10 women's pants.

But they are not the only clothing retailer that doesn't offer extra large sizes for women. Club Monaco stops at a size 12 for pants and dresses and a large for shirts. True Religion also doesn't go past size large, reports CBC.

Rival retailers H&M and American Eagle carry sizes up to 16 and 18.

It's all part Jeffries's master plan, says Robin Lewis, co-author of The New Rules of Retail.

“He’s been very, very successful, so he doesn’t want anybody in the store that doesn’t fit that cool, young and sexy definition,” Lewis tells ABC.

Also see: Plus-size mannequins spark an Internet praise-a-thon

Predictably, since Jeffries' comments started making the Internet rounds, journalists and commenters have had some had some choice words.

"When I first read this article, I didn't know if I was more impressed with the fact that Jeffries owns his asshole ways or if I was more disgusted that he's such a f*cking d*ckhead who is desperately trying to hold on to his glory days of high school," says writer Jen M.L. for Huffington Post.

And then there are others who question the long-term financial viability of Jeffries' strategy.

"One wonders, will Abercrombie go under as the classic concept of beauty evolves into portraying more realistic bodies? According to Jeffries, his business model is based on 100 per cent natural selection," writes Lauren Schiff for Opposing Views.

Considering the worldwide obesity epidemic, she may have a point. Plus-size people now represent 67 per cent of shoppers as outlined in another recent story from Business Insider.

What are you thoughts on Jeffries' comments? Are they offensive? Or do they ever matter considering they were made seven years ago?