Abercrombie and Fitch came under fire recently after a Business Insider piece exploring how the company doesn’t want anyone who doesn’t fit traditional norms of being cool and beautiful to wear Abercrombie, going so far as not making XL or XXL clothing for women because they don’t want overweight women in their clothes.
The piece also referenced a 2006 Salon article, quoting CEO Mike Jeffries, with remarks including, “A lot of people don’t belong [in our clothes], and they can’t belong. Are we exclusionary? Absolutely.”
Now a Los Angeles filmmaker is striking back.
In his video, Greg Karber buys Abercrombie clothing from a Goodwill and starts distributing it to a group that the company’s public statements would seem to indicate they would think was strongly off-brand: homeless people.
Karber opens the video by explaining why he’s doing what he’s doing. He isn’t above taking shots at someone’s appearance — Karber mocks the looks of CEO Jeffrieshe theory here seems to be that turnabout is fair play.
The video also notes that Abercrombie’s policy when they have damaged clothing isn’t to give it away, but allegedly to burn it. (The source of the information is unclear, but MSN reports it possibly comes from an anonymous Abercrombie district manager.)
The video had over 1.2 million hits at press time, and the campaign’s hashtag, #FitchTheHomeless, has been retweeted thousands of times.
Karber ends the video with a plea for viewers to take any Abercrombie & Fitch clothing you or your friends and neighbors own, give them to your local homeless shelter and share what you’re doing on social media.
While the video could be seen to concede that homeless people are "uncool" and is putting them down at the same time as it reaches out a hand, it also seems to be something that the Abercrombie brass wouldn't be happy with. Abercrombie has yet to issue a response to the video.
Karber explained to NBC Los Angeles that part of why he’s doing what he’s doing is that he saw someone post that karma would catch up with Jeffries, but Karber thought that was silly given his position as a successful CEO. “Karma’s never gonna catch up to this guy. But maybe I can do something to make karma catch up to him.”