Tuesday, May 14, 2013

And the controversy continues...

Since I wrote this on Friday, I've continued to think about the situation with Abercrombie and Fitch and it's CEO, Mike Jeffries. I know, I've been wasting time that could be spent on other, more productive, things. It's just that stuff like this bothers me.

I've been especially thinking about Jeffries's comment that A&F goes after "the attractive all-American kid with a great attitude and a lot of friends."

You know who he means, don't you? He's going after the "richies" in "Pretty in Pink" (if you haven't seen it, or haven't seen it in awhile and don't quite remember who the richies were and what they stood for, go watch it again), the kids who feel entitled to pass through school and life on their good looks alone, who don't believe they actually have to study or work for their grades and their money because, "Dude who has time to study or work when we've, like, got all this partying to do."

Yeah. Starting to remember them, aren't you? Every high school has them, and every college, too. At least every one I've ever been exposed to.

At least, I'm not the only one who is still thinking about this. I ran across an L.A. Times column this morning that addresses this issue. Apparently some people are sending the clothes they bought for themselves or their teenagers back with the message that they won't be shopping at A&F again. Others are calling Jeffries comments about those who don't fit into his definition of beautiful (young, thin) "bullying".

Some people have also started a petition calling on A&F to start stocking larger sizes. I'm not sure how I feel about that. I'm not generally in favor of boycotts, but in this case I think what is needed is for more people to stay to Abercrombie & Fitch, and to Jeffries, something along the lines of "I don't care if you start stocking every size imaginable, I will never, ever spend a dime in your stores again."

You see, the thing is, even if they start making and stocking all sizes, they've already stuck their foot in it and revealed their true feelings about those of us who aren't now and never have been "the cool kids". They might start marketing to a wider demographic, but they'll still be making the comments. They'll still be coming off as the haters they so clearly are. If they start selling larger-sized clothing, they'll be doing it for the money and the positive publicity, not because they've suddenly become more sensitive, caring people.

They would be doing it for the bottom line. And they might have to do it for the bottom line. According to the L.A. Times reporting, A&F has been underperforming for years, with stock prices down 20 percent since 2006 and one investments expert is quoted as saying that "the brand is probably ruined." The bloom is, apparently, off the rose, despite some of the comments I reported Friday from people who have called Jeffries a "brilliant visionary." Others, it seems, are starting to say, "Well, not so much."

Okay. I'm not going to spend any more time thinking about Abercrombie and Fitch or about Mike Jeffries. He's like the richies I was talking about earlier. He wants people to think about him, wants them to want to emulate him. Like them, he doesn't deserve that.

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