‘Fitch the Homeless’ Gives Abercrombie Clothes to Homeless People
In the wake of a controversy over Abercrombie CEO Michael Jeffries‘ attitude about excluding larger people from his store, people have started a movement to give A&F clothes to homeless people.
Using the hashtag #Fitchthehomeless on Twitter, Los Angeles-based writer Greg Karber launched the campaign with a YouTube video:
“I was really upset by the Abercrombie & Fitch CEO’s comments, and I wanted to do something to turn that negative energy into a positive social good,” Karber told Mashable. The video has already garnered 4.5 million views. Here are some photos of the movement in action:
— BUZZNET (@BUZZNET) May 15, 2013
In a 2006 interview with Salon, Jeffries said, “Candidly, we go after the cool kids. We go after the attractive all-American kid with a great attitude and a lot of friends. A lot of people don’t belong [in our clothes], and they can’t belong. Are we exclusionary? Absolutely.”
The comments resurfaced earlier this month when Business Insider published an article asserting A&F doesn’t make size XL or XXL for women because it doesn’t want overweight women wearing its brand. (Additionally, A&F’s women’s pants only go up to size 10.)
Actress Kirstie Alley spoke out against the elitist retailer on Entertainment Tonight:
“He says…Abercrombie clothes are for people that are cool and who look a certain way and are beautiful and who are thin and blah, blah, blah,” she said. “He goes on and on and on. That would make me never buy anything from Abercrombie even if I was cool and thin. I got two kids in that [age] bracket that will never walk in those doors because of his view of people.”
Jeffries issued a statement in response to the controversy:
“I want to address some of my comments that have been circulating from a 2006 interview. 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.
“A&F is an aspirational brand that, like most specialty apparel brands, targets its marketing at a particular segment of customers. However, we care about the broader communities in which we operate and are strongly committed to diversity and inclusion. We hire good people who share these values.
“We are completely opposed to any discrimination, bullying, derogatory characterizations or other anti-social behavior based on race, gender, body type or other individual characteristics.”