When I heard this story I was very dubious. I honestly didn't think someone who heads such a renowned brand would be so shockingly offensive when they are in such a media focal point. I feel in order to give this post validation I should transcribe Jeffries own words.
This statement appears to be in response to an accusation made against him that he was purposely excluding women of a certain size because A&F don't manufacture women's bottoms (trousers etc-not actual buttocks!) above a UK size 10. Here are some excerpts of his:
His reply to an interviewer who is asking about the big focus on sex appeal: "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"
Personally I think it's a sad state of affairs that people could ever be 'excited' by being simply being classed as 'skinny' enough to buy into a particular brand. I chased skinny for years, I became anorexic and went BEYOND skinny and I still wasn't satisfied, and I don't think I was ever 'excited'. It's a false horizon, girls. If gaining excitement and achievement were as simple as just getting skinny then life would be wonderful. Skinny brings you nothing in the end. Take it from the horses mouth (no pun intended!)
As for companies that are 'in trouble'- huh!? I can think of quite a few companies who target a diverse market: Newlook- they even have their 'inspire' range for larger sizes, Next- cater for seemingly all ages and go up to large sizes as well as having a balance with a petite section, ASOS- an absolutely booming company with massive variations in sizes, ages etc. I could go on. Just like the afore mentioned school kids; you don't have to be mean and cliché to attract more people, you can be just as popular if you are wholly accepting and non-discriminatory. Being an inspirationally good person is just as powerful socially as being a mean and intimidating one is believe it or not.
The aggravating part of this story is the fact that I know A&F won't lose out. Human psychology doesn't always bear out justice. It's clear that although Jeffries is an ugly, offensive, self assured prick he is also pretty knowledgeable about the way the public mind operates. Yes, there are going to be a large proportion of society that his exclusionary tactics alienate, but there is also a very high proportion of impressionable people who will be drawing the parallels between skinniness and desirability. Sadly I my self can identify with the latter attitude. I am angered by this state of affairs but if I could fit comfortably in A&F clothes I know a rebellious part of my mind would be very satisfied. I would feel 'approved' of. I am the sort of person who looks everywhere else for approval and assurance that 'yes I am ok', and it's all the other people like me who Jeffries will draw in. Unfortunately in our image orientated society more and more people are feeling the need to find approval from other people and other brands and companies, fewer and fewer people (I feel the need to express it seems to be largely the female) can find approval and acceptance from within themselves.
Now to close this post I feel the need to indulge my more shallow side and point out how absurd it is that a man as BUTT UGLY as Jeffries can spout this guff about only wanting beautiful people.
Here we have the Drop Dead Gorgeous Mike Jeffries....
Now here is a veryyy skinny person....so he'd be welcome in your clothes huh Mr J?
And yes, this woman CERTAINLY isn't beautiful and at a size 14 is 'not allowed'...
Point Made :)