No A&F for fat chicks

As a brand, you can't be everything to everybody. You need to identify your market, and stick to catering for that specific target market only. High street brand Abercrombie & Fitch shows the way, as extreme and controversial as it may be.

A&F made the decision to no longer stock XL and XXL women's sizes anymore. The largest available women's pants are a UK 10 (versus H&M's UK 16). Their target market, quite specifically is the 'in-crowd'. Beautiful, young, and THIN.

Abercrombie’s attitude towards plus-sized women derives from CEO Mike Jeffries. Robin Lewis, author of The New Rules of Retail, spoke to Business Insider about the kind of people Jeffries wants advertising his brand.
“He doesn’t want larger people shopping in his store, he wants thin and beautiful people,” Lewis said. “He doesn’t want his core customers to see people who aren’t as hot as them wearing his clothing. People who wear his clothing should feel like they’re one of the ‘cool kids.’”
Ouch! As cruel as that sounds, at least they're honest. Lewis said that the only reason Abercrombie offers XL and XXL in men’s sizes is to appeal to large athletes. In a 2006 interview with Salon, Jeffries confirmed that the communication between hot people is his primary marketing tactic.

“It’s almost everything. That’s why we hire good-looking people in our stores. Because 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,” he said.
Jeffries also told Salon that he wasn’t bothered by excluding fat people. In fact, he said that not limiting his ideal demographic would make his clothing less desirable. 
“In every school there are the cool and popular kids, and then there are the not-so-cool kids,” he told the site. “Candidly, we go after the cool kids. We go after the attractive all-American kid with a great attitude and a lot of friends. A lot of people don’t belong [in our clothes], and they can’t belong. Are we exclusionary? Absolutely. Those companies that are in trouble are trying to target everybody: young, old, fat, skinny. But then you become totally vanilla. You don’t alienate anybody, but you don’t excite anybody, either.”
The attractive poster-boy CEO of A&F Mike Jeffries
Below is blogger and photographer Jess Baker a.k.a Millitant Baker who has proposed her own A&F campaign. This time it's called Attractive & Fat.
"I didn't take these pictures to show that the male model found me attractive, or that the photographer found me photogenic, or to prove that you're an ostentatious d***," writes Baker. "Rather, I was inspired by the opportunity to show that I am secure in my skin and to flaunt this by using the controversial platform that you created. I challenge the separation of attractive and fat, and I assert that they are compatible regardless of what you believe."


Anonymous said…
Abercrombie is an absolutely terrible company, but there's nothing attractive about being obese. It's plain unhealthy.

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