For the moment, Jeffries is getting the opportunity to see how the other 67 percent lives — that’s how many shoppers are plus-size, according to ABC News.
He’s also experiencing something close to the bullying suffered by those who don’t fit his company’s “look.”
There’s a petition on Change.org demanding the store stock larger sizes (only 75 people have signed it). Teenage critics protested outside a Chicago Abercrombie and Fitch store earlier this week. And in a viral video campaign, "#FitchTheHomeless," filmmaker Greg Karber is trying to "re-brand" the company by giving its clothes to homeless people. I really like the "Karberizing" of the brand as a form of punishment.
By now Jeffries’ 2006 Salon interview, resurfacing since ABC News ran a piece showing the company sells mainly size 00, is cemented in the annals of marketing history; a monument to how long a bad remark can remain potent thanks to the computer and online memory.
He told Salon in 2006: “In every school there are the cool and popular kids, and then there are the not-so-cool kids. Candidly, we go after the cool kids…. A lot of people don’t belong [in our clothes], and they can’t belong. Are we exclusionary? Absolutely.”
As a result of his remarks Jeffries is being momentarily schooled on how it feels to be unpopular. I hope he’s also learning that size only matters when it comes to mistakes.