You have to love media / entertainment / corporate types — ok, anyone who makes an outrageous public statement or is quoted in an interview and then, faced with a blast furnace of (justified) public outrage, bleats “I was taken out of context”.
The current Abercrombie and Fitch imbroglio (as opposed to Imbruglia, Natalie — the Australian singer) is quite hilarious. The company’s CEO Mike Jeffries is facing a firestorm (again) for his mind-neuteringly odd comments that his clothing brand is “absolutely exclusionary” and he doesn’t want fat and “not so cool kids” wearing them.
Jeffries made those comments in 2006, but they have come back to bite him on the arse (presumably clad in one of his “prep fit shorts”). He issued a statement this week, saying he believes the quote was “taken out of context”. Then this — “I sincerely regret that my choice of words was interpreted in a manner that has caused offense.” So it’s the interpretation that’s the problem?
I’ve only been in an Abercrombie and Fitch store once. It was a new store in Singapore and for days leading up to the opening, ridiculously ripped shirtless guys, with eyebrows manicured by a topiarist, were (presumably) paid to stand out the front. They didn’t look overly fat and they definitely weren’t “not so cool” given Singapore’s humidity. This parade of pecs was possibly a ploy to keep people like me out, but ignoring that, I braved the beefcake, ran the gauntlet of gleaming white teeth and entered. I’m not sure whether Jeffries had been tardy paying his power bill, but It was so dark in there I couldn’t see a thing — let alone clothes. I needed one of of the mann-equins to come in and smile. So I “exclused” myself and left.
Maybe they should release a range of designer miner’s hats so at least you can see what they’re selling and Jeffries may also be able to see his head that’s so far up his…*
*taken out of context
©Steve Williams 2013