If there’s one thing Abercrombie & Fitch is good at, it’s the ability to consistently drum up controversy. If you’ll recall, CEO (and probable douchebag) Mike Jeffries recently came under fire for comments regarding the company’s marketing strategy of targeting “cool, good-looking people”. The comments were uttered seven years ago, but people decided Abercrombie was overdue for a bit of ridicule, and the Internet ran with it.
Scorn rained down from everywhere, highlighted by demands to make plus sizes available on merchandise. (Note on that: I worked high end retail for awhile, and we sold $1000 sweaters that basically only fit skinny midgets. Fashion, including Abercrombie, is not equal opportunity. Just deal with it.) The fervor eventually died down once reports surfaced that the retailer’s sales had dropped precipitously. Of course, the decline was pre-douchey comment controversy, but the haters still declared victory.
Less than a month later, Abercrombie faced the ire of another very loyal, and very vocal crowd: the Taylor Swift Army. The retailer produced a shirt that read “#more boyfriends than t.s.”, a reference to the singer’s tabloid-riddled dating history. Well, Hell hath no fury like a T-Swizzle fan scorned, as a petition was launched on Change.org (do yourself a favor and read the comments), calling on Abercrombie to pull the shirt.
Abercrombie complied, but the response was clearly overwhelming, as the outgoing message on their public relations line now says: “Thank you for calling Abercrombie & Fitch public relations. If you are calling regarding the Taylor Swift t-shirt, please note this is no longer available.”
Also no longer available: the ability for anyone to take a joke.