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Abercrombie's 'Exclusionary' CEO Responds to (But Doesn't Apologize For) the Controversy

05/17/2013 at 01:08 PM ET

Abercrombie CEO backlash
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.”

PHOTOS: See the shoes, bags and jeans stars are loving right now!

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?

–Alex Apatoff

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Showing 252 comments

psue on

I hate to break it to Mr. Jeffries but there are knockoffs of his “exclusionary” brand that are really large sizes. You usually see them at flea markets or similar places. So if he doesn’t want a 2x in his clothes he’s fighting a losing battle. All it takes is someone who can screen print.

Danielle on

The problem isn’t the clothes. It’s what he said and the concept in which he said it. Gosh, you people are so dumb.

Jen on

i don’t think a petition is really going to make the CEO rethink sizing. just don’t buy the clothes. sales dropping might send a better message. i’ve always wanted to buy something but prices are too high and after all this, i won’t buy anything.

Jen V T on

Ok, look at this guy, look at that picture! He is not exactly a picture of pretty, but yet he will judge the rest of us if we happen to be a 12 or XL?? I would rather give my business to a place that knows that we all come in different shapes and sizes.

BTW, those in glass houses should not cast stones.

LOL! on

By his own standards then, is he allowed to wear the clothing he markets? By my standards his plastic appearance and use of teenage vocabulary don’t make him “cool”, just kind of, pathetic. Sorry, dude.

theblackbeargroup on

Reblogged this on theblackbeargroup and commented:
What do you think? Is this statement enough? Does he have the right to be exclusionary?

Megan McMullen on

I am starting a petition that Gucci lower their prices since they are targeting only people with lots of money. (I also doubt that Gucci has size 4 XL.)

mopps on

My wife shops at Lane Bryant because they cater to fat people. Where are all of the skinny good looking people when you need them? Why aren’t they complaining that they too can’t shop at Lane Bryant?

Dawn on

Not everyone is cut up to wear every type of clothes! What is the darn big deal? This CEO has a 1st Amendment right to say what he said. So. I like A&F. I buy it.

With healthcare costs rising at an obscene rate, people ought to get into better shape!! Who wants diabetes and high blood pressure??? If you are offended, it probably means that you are guilty of being obese, morbidly obese or beyond fat.

Pauline on

BOYCOTT!!!!!!!! Keep it up!!!! Should have been boycotted years ago.

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