Date: Jan. 2006
Ah yes, the infamous interview that started it all. CEO Mike Jeffries was profiled in this 2006 Salon article, "The man behind Abercrombie & Fitch," documenting how the certified senior citizen created a multibillion dollar brand from the shell of an outdoor outfitter "by selling youth, sex and casual superiority." What came back to bite him in the ass comes later in the piece, when he says: "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."
Jeffries continues: "We go after the attractive all-American kid with a great attitude and a lot of friends. A lot of people don’t belong [in our clothes], and they can’t belong. Are we exclusionary? Absolutely." Of his inclusionary competitors, the CEO says "Those companies that are in trouble are trying to target everybody: young, old, fat, skinny. But then you become totally vanilla. You don’t alienate anybody, but you don’t excite anybody, either.”