Many Americans are battling with obesity and bullying is becoming a bigger problem in our schools but do people like Mike Jeffries care? Hell no, people like him care about revenue and building their brand. And how can their brand build with fat, ugly, and lower-class people wearing the brand?
In his 2006 interview with Salon.com Mike Jeffries said: “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.” So what he is saying is that marketing your brand for everyone is a bad thing? I call bullshit. There are brands that are fashionable, affordable, and accessible for people of all classes, body types, and genders.
This story reminds me of the rumor of Tommy Hilfiger being racist:
Fortunately the Tommy Hilfiger rumor was proven false. Mike Jeffries will not be so fortunate because he candidly says Abercrombie only wants “attractive” consumers while he–at the age of 61 and after probably tons of botox treatment–is hideous. But my intent is not to bash Mike Jeffries, my intent is to point out the thought patterns of executives of big businesses. They don’t think of their consumers as people, they see them as free advertisement. Mike Jeffries wants to walk outside and see Abercrombie clothing on people that look like the models he pays. But what Mike Jeffries and other executives don’t understand is that they aren’t paying the consumers, the consumers are paying them.
It is crazy to believe that this man is basically rejecting certain people’s money but we are talking about a company that basically hires models to not wear their clothes. As a fat guy, I have never even walked in an Abercrombie & Fitch store but I still feel like I have a complete life. I really hope Mike Jeffries’ comments did not have any negative impact on anyone.