A Los Angeles filmmaker is on a mission to change Abercrombie & Fitch's brand. After reading reports alleging that the company safeguards its image by destroying unsold clothing rather than donating it and only hiring "thin and beautiful people", Greg Karber launched a campaign called "Fitch the Homeless."
Karber uploaded a video to YouTube where he visits a local thrift shop to find donated Abercrombie & Fitch clothes. In the video, he says it was hard to find the clothes at first, but after asking the sales person for their "douche-bag" section he was able to find the clothing. Karber then went to East Los Angeles also known as "Skid Row." Skid Row is a section in LA with the largest population of homeless in America. Karber handed out the clothing to the homeless and urges viewers to do the same in hopes that Abercrombie & Fitch can become "the world's number one brand of homeless apparel."
His video started a trending twitter hashtag #fitchthehomeless with Twitter users tweeting exactly how they feel about the brands CEO comments and the campaign. Karber also tweeted the video and urged people to help out.
Karber says he did the video because he was angered by an interview he read in Business Insider with Robin Lewis, a retail industry analyst and co-author of "The New Rules of Retail."
In the interview Lewis claims that Abercrombie & Fitch CEO Mike Jeffries "doesn't want larger people shopping in his store, he wants thin and beautiful people."
"He doesn't want his core customers to see people who aren't as hot as them wearing his clothing," Lewis said. "People who wear his clothing should feel like they're one of the 'cool kids'."
According to Business Insider, Lewis also claims that the retail company purposely does not offer anything higher than a size Large for women. In the menswear, Abercrombie & Fitch does offer XXL but Lewis believes this only "to appeal to muscular football players and wrestlers."
In a 2006 interview with Salon, Jeffries explained the brands strategy saying his company doesn't market to anyone other than "good-looking" people.
"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," Jeffries said.
The CEO goes on to explain that in every school there two types of kids, the cool and popular kids and the not-so-cool kids. Abercrombie & Fitch knows exactly what group they want to go after.
"We go after the attractive all-American kid with a great attitude and a lot of friends," Jeffries said in the interview with Salon. "A lot of people don't belong [in our clothes] and they can't belong."
Jeffries says the company has no problem being exclusionary.