Abercrombie's 'Exclusionary' CEO Responds to (But Doesn't Apologize For) the Controversy
Landov; Inset: Getty
Until now, Abercrombie & Fitch CEO Mike Jeffries has remained silent about the recent uproar surrounding his company‘s policies to exclude sizes larger than a 10 or L, as well his quotes from a 2006 article, in which he said (in part), “A lot of people don’t belong [in our clothes], and they can’t belong. Are we exclusionary? Absolutely.”
But after about a week of customer boycotts and negative internet buzz, Jeffries has finally posted a statement on the company’s Facebook page — though he stops short of an apology.
“While I believe this 7 year old, resurrected quote has been taken out of context, I sincerely regret that my choice of words was interpreted in a manner that has caused offense,” he writes, but adds that he stands by their original size policies. “A&F is an aspirational brand that, like most specialty apparel brands, targets its marketing at a particular segment of customers.”
Jeffries also says that that Abercrombie is “strongly committed to diversity and inclusion. We hire good people who share these values. We are completely opposed to any discrimination [or] bullying.”
A Change.org petition calling for the company to change its policy remains up, and the creator, 18-year-old Benjamin O’Keefe, says he is determined to keep the pressure on Jeffries to be more inclusionary.
Tell us: Do you think Jeffries’s statement is enough, or should the company have to do more?