Photo: Courtesy of Abercrombie & Fitch
By now it's no longer new or shocking that Abercrombie & Fitch has questionable business standards and all-around morals. The company is no stranger to controversy, whether it's over a refusal to create plus-sized clothes (and a refusal to apologize for it) or unfair treatment of its models. Its management seems to be getting its own punishment in the form of meager profits and dwindling sales, yet we can't seem to turn away from the negative press surrounding the company.
The latest wave of publicity involves a tell-all from a former employee, and the stories straight from inside Abercrombie HQ aren't doing the brand any favors. The unnamed A&F-er sat down with Cosmopolitan's Elisa Benson to rehash one perplexing scenario after the other. Not surprisingly, all employees at the brand's corporate "campus" are required to follow a strict Abercrombie-only dress code. But, since the line's sizes cater to such a small percentage of body types, several female employees were forced to wear men's jeans and hoodies to the office. Sadly, simply going against dress code wasn't an option either, as anyone who failed to sport A&F was asked to eat lunch off campus (very "You can't sit with us").
To further hammer home the image-obsessed mantra, the headquarter's security team also doubles as shirtless models. It wasn't unusual for the men to strip down and serve passed apps at company parties. Which, despite the presence of major alcoholic imbibing, often occurred during the middle of the day — employees would hammer brews from the beer truck and then head back to their desks. We're all for a little office fun now and again, but it's easy to get the impression from this tell-all that besides being discriminatory, A&F is also extremely unprofessional. Many departments were all-male, and office goings-on commonly turned into boys club activities. Many employees even looked down on the hiring of women into their departments.
The employee in question in the Cosmo article has since moved on from Abercrombie land, but he's still scarred from his experiences. He's left with a bad taste in his mouth about the company as a whole, and believes that almost nothing will shock him now. As he put it, "A&F broke me." Read the entire exposé for the full story. (Cosmopolitan)