Do you know the controversial statement released by the A&F CEO? The one where he explained why they don’t cater to female customers that wear sizes 10 and above (technically, they don’t target to men of similar body types but have larger sizes because they’re targeting male athletes)? Look it up, if you have not. So anway, the video above is my favourite response I’ve seen so far.
To be fair to A&F, they are allowed to market their brand whatever way they like. I, personally, am no way entitled to wearing their clothes.. heck, they shun people like me. But I will agree that they have the right to be selective of their target audience. In the same way the Greek system is selective. In the same way certain political groups are selective. One could even say that it’s the same way school cliques are selective. The only thing A&F have done is publicly state it.
I personally, don’t agree with Mike Jeffries; as a ‘victim’ of the fashion industry’s lack of choices for ‘larger people’ I wish I could wear nice clothes, the stuff that my smaller stature friends wear. It’s difficult when you go shopping and everyone else just grabs stuff off the rack, while you have to go search and walk out of stores because they don’t have anything that does fit you. Just when you think school bullying and gossip wasn’t bad enough, even non-living objects reject you. Or rather, society does.
But Jeffries has a valid point. If he wants his brand to be represented by beautiful, skinny people, he has a right to make it so. And there are a lot of consumers that would agree with him because they want to feel ‘selected’, the same way popular kids want to feel like the elite. No one can deny them their freedom of choice to exclude certain groups.
If that is what A&F is selling and you believe in their message, why not buy their clothes? But if you’re against his mission, don’t buy their products, simple as that.
I honestly wonder how many regulars to this store have changed their minds about shopping there because of this news. I doubt that it would impact their business that much, at least not in the international front. The only people Mike Jeffries has turned away are people who already don’t fit in their size range and perhaps, people who were aspiring to buy ‘that one skirt’ or ‘that one top’ from the store, once they lost the weight. I have a friend who recently went shopping at one of their outlets in Malaysia even after this news hit the mass media (yes, he is skinny, duh) because he subscribes to the belief that good clothes are for those who work for it (or in some cases, are blessed with the right genetic combination).
If I were ever to fit into a good pair of jeans there, would I buy it? No. After being on the outside for so long, I don’t think I would ever support a company that didn’t want me when I wasn’t a certain body type.
What about you?