By now, there have been plenty of awesome, kick-ass fat fashionistas who have made their feelings about Abercrombie & Fitch and its asshole CEO Mike Jefferies known. In case you don’t know, A&F has recently announced that it will no longer be selling women’s clothing larger than a size 10, because it only wants thin, beautiful, cool people to wear its clothing. This, of course, comes on top of a long line of nasty business practices that include things like destroying unsold clothes rather than give them to the needy because ew poor people, and relegating its employees of color to the back room instead of out mingling with customers. Naturally, I’d swear to buy from Abercrombie & Fitch ever again, but I have never once in my life bought a single article of clothing from there to begin with.
A&F is hardly the first fashion brand to implement exclusionary business practices in order to create an image of elite coolness. Most couture brands don’t sell anything larger than a size 10, and it again goes back to the “only cool and beautiful people wear our brand” ethos. And, I hate to say it, but for couture companies (for this example, lets use one of the pioneers of the exclusionary style of business, Chanel), it works. But here’s the thing. Even if I were a size 2, I’d still have to be an heiress to afford a closet full of Chanel. Even if I were a size two and an heiress, I’d still have to go to New York just to shop for Chanel. If I want an Abercrombie & Fitch t-shirt, all I need is 20 bucks and enough gas to get me to any mall in the United States. The fact that I can’t fit into anything there means I won’t be spending money there. Abercrombie & Fitch is simply, utterly common. It’s hard to think of a clothing brand that is more synonymous with the White middle class than A&F. While its marketing image of only “sexy” people wear A&F has been largely successful, any actual real-life move to keep “unsexy” people from wearing A&F is bound to backfire.
Admittedly, I’ve never liked the Abercrombie & Fitch aesthetic, going back to my middle school when it seemed like every kid in the school wore Abercrombie but me and my little cadre of goth friends. Now that I’ve grown up and stopped shopping at Hot Topic, I still avoid A&F and other “preppy” brands like the plague because well, I hate the whole human billboard covered-in-brand-names-and-logos thing. If I’m going to have a brand name emblazoned across my chest, you’d better damn well be paying me to put it there. As a connaisseur of fashion, I firmly believe that there is a special place in fashion hell for brands that put their logos on everything. Logos belong on tags and on the insoles of shoes and nowhere else. Shit is just tacky as fuck.
So go donate all your old A&F clothes to a local homeless shelter and burn some sage around your bed so that Mike Jefferies’s uruk-hai face and glow-in-the-dark teeth doesn’t haunt your nightmares. I have never in my life seen someone so throughly prove Roald Dahl’s immortal wisdom right: