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Comments about ‘Wright Words: An open letter from a dad to Abercrombie & Fitch CEO, Mike Jeffries’

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Published: Tuesday, May 14 2013 5:00 a.m. MDT

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DistantThunder
Vincentown, NJ

Evidence of good genes like symmetrical facial features and good skin and teeth, have always been signs of beauty. Now that we understand the health risks associated with obesity, is it any wonder that society considers overweight people less attractive. The CEO's point is that A&F clothes are not designed to fit on a 200lb 5'4 woman. Do you have the same problem with sports car makers who design to a particular height?

Mormoncowboy
Provo, Ut

So...the size of waist lines do not matter, just literally sentences after Jason Wright was criticizing the "models", or "sales associates", for being too skinny and in desperate need of a pop-tart???

In this story, Mr. Wright is not a "capitalist", he's a consumer. The best thing he can do is not shop at places that don't uphold his values. What did he do instead? He described in rather familiar detail the experience of shopping at Abercrombie & Fitch??????

Kellie Buckner
University Heights, Ohio

@Mormoncowboy,
You don't have to have shopped at A&F to know what the store is like. Just walking past one of their stores gives you every detail Mr. Wright mentioned. I've never been inside one of these stores, but I already knew everything he said in describing them. Also, your comment that he's not a capitalist is incorrect. One definition of a capitalist is someone who favors capitalism. From what I know of Mr. Wright, he is most definitely a capitalist. Yes, he criticized the models and said waist size doesn't matter. You're missing the point he was making. Waist size doesn't matter, but being a healthy weight does.

estreetshuffle
Window Rock, AZ

I like my good old 501 jeans purchased from the Trading Post and a good old white T Shirt from Walmart and some good old Springsteen tunes. cheap and still in style.

CHS 85
Sandy, UT

And how much free publicity did you just give him? The solution is sooooo simple. Don't shop there if you don't like their stuff, if their stuff doesn't fit, or you have other beef with them. The feigned outrage every time someone says something you don't agree with is tiresome.

Western Rover
Herriman, UT

If this store is going after for the "cool kids", why did they pick the name Abercrombie & Fitch? Sounds like an accountants firm to me.

DCJ
Washington, DC

@DistantThunder

I think there are bigger issues here than marketing to a particular size. One is whether AF's highly-sexualized marketing has an undesirable effect on our children's environment. My children won't shop there, but some kids their age will and I wonder how AF's marketing will influence the way that other kids behave toward my children.

Another issue is that the marketing exploits class distinctions among children for profit. By making their products representative of a very selective definition of beauty, they can drive up the price. When the cool kids' club is very selective, you have to pay a lot to get in. That also has an effect on children that may not be desirable.

Free speech is important. Like Mr. Wright, I value the freedom to speak out against business practices that I think may be harmful.

Lest someone suggest that media and advertising can't really influence people's behavior, then why do companies spend billions of dollars on it? No one would pay big money for a Super Bowl ad if they thought it wouldn't help someone to think and behave in a way that would support buying their product.

ghanks
Tacoma, WA

Jason Wright, you crack me up! You have a way of getting us to see the humor in life's complexities. I've got the skinny kids, but we don't shop at A & F for several reasons. You have spoken about a few of those reasons in such a way that my rolling laughter has put it all into perspective. Thanks for a delightful start to my day!

Middle-aged Mormon Man
JUNEAU, AK

Whaaa? "What you cannot do is tell us what’s beautiful. Corporate America doesn’t define beauty, the soul does." ???

Corporate America defines beauty all the time. If not, things like 5 inch heels, fake eyelashes, and most "fashion" wouldn't even exist. As a society, we line up to be told by Corporate America what the next beautiful things is - then we rush out and buy it.

I lived through the Disco Era, and know that my soul was not involved in the clothing designs I wore.

oldcougar
Orem, UT

CHS 85

Sandy, UT

And how much free publicity did you just give him? The solution is sooooo simple. Don't shop there if you don't like their stuff, if their stuff doesn't fit, or you have other beef with them. The feigned outrage every time someone says something you don't agree with is tiresome.

So, if Jason's stuff is to tiresome, follow your own advice and don't read it or comment on it.
And, did you really see outrage in his article? I thought it was civil, controlled, and well written.

Sasha Pachev
Provo, UT

I had never even heard of A & F until now. We shop for clothes at DI, Savers, and Walmart. Costco for special occasions. We have six boys and two girls. We teach them that if they want to stand out, they should do it by developing their talents and achieving challenging goals, not by the clothes they wear.

Claudio
Springville, Ut

Who cares?

Why single out A&F? I can think of a handful of other stores and brands that are no different in their marketing.

If you don't want the clothes, don't buy them. If you disagree with their marketing, don't buy in. Those who like the clothes, go ahead and buy them.

Of all the problems going on in this country and throughout the world, the marketing strategy of one clothing company seems incredibly insignificant, especially when the simple choice of not buying the clothes can eliminate the angst of those who are so upset with the company.

Hey It's Me
Salt Lake City, UT

Dwayne in Provo, the author is not bullying just like the owner of the company is not bullying in the America I live in it is still o.k. to voice you're opinion, just as you have done here and as I have done here. I'm not bullying you. . . my opinion (which I'm allowed to have is that your opinion of what the author of the article is doing is ridiculous. By the way my kids would have fit the A and F clothing line but they chose not to spend that much money on clothes that advertise while you wear them. They had good self esteem and their friends liked them no matter what they wore. If kids at school are picking friends by what people wear than they probably aren't someone you really want your kids to be friends with. My opinion is that the author of the article was just giving his opinion on judging people by what they wear. My kids had friends who did wear some A & F clothes but they still were friends with my girls. Obviously they were brought up right no matter what they wore.

Mister J
Salt Lake City, UT

7th & 9th paragraphs are pure comedy gold.

To Dwayne above; Isn't the A & F CEO already "bullying"

The A & F CEO has every right to be an idiot... Its America.

I have never shopped there or Hot Topic. I've never cared for the merchandise or the vibe I get from either.

SS
MiddleofNowhere, Utah

Wow . . . people will get bent out of shape over anything nowadays!

AmkaProblemka
South Jordan, UT

Dwayne -

The CEO is making lots of money by putting out the message that some kids are cool and some are not, they'll use their marketing strategy and a price tag to inform you of it. It makes for a twisted and warped, materialistic society which condones body discrimination.

Tell me how talking out against this practice is bullying?

In general - Yes, there is such a thing as a healthy weight. But being 20 lbs underweight is far less healthy than being 20 lbs overweight.

We all have to wear clothes, and making a living off of making them is an honorable thing. But doing it in such a way as to reinforce attitudes which damage our society and hurts individuals is quite dishonorable. Jeffries is the bully here.

Curmudgeon
Salt Lake City, UT

I just wonder why the DN put this "letter" under the "Faith" category. Even an atheist could be offended by A&F's marketing strategy. Or is this a subtly targeted message to the faithful DN subscribers about modesty, and to avoid A&F because it promotes immodest clothing?

The Rock
Federal Way, WA

Mr. Wright,

I think that you are right. Those who cannot see the beauty in all good people are missing a great deal of life.

You are also right: The darkness of the store reflects the darkness of Mr. Jeffries soul.

You are still right: Different people have different ideas of what is aesthetically attractive. I'll take my wife.

Mr. Jeffries is superficial and artificial but is in no way beneficial. I hope he enjoys his store. I have never darkened the door and don't plan to do so any time soon. I plan to put my money to a more beneficial use.

Denver2Portland
Denver, CO

Regardless of what parents and people do, write letters,etc., Abercrombie & Fitch will still be around.

There is a market for them. Just like how there is a market for Nike, Victoria's Secret, etc.

I don't like Hot Topic and how they are so 'dark' and the way they market and advertise, but i'm not going to get all uspet over it.

If you don't like Abercrombie, then don't shop there or go near their stores. Simple as that.

Brent T. Aurora CO
Aurora, CO

Dwayne I don't think got this article; but that's okay. Jason, well spoken and pretty clear. And he nothing he said promotes obesity. There is difference between "feeling" and "being" healthy and attractive, versus being obsessed with numbers such weight and waist size to the point where one seeks to maintain the appearance of being emaciated because someone models this look as the one that is appropriate and cool. More so the open letter was addressing the idea that self worth is something you get with money buying the "desired" (read marketed) "cool" label to the exclusion and detriment of those with less means both financially and genetically. We're familiar with such marketing; but, it is another thing for this CEO to so openly flaunt his catering to class war. As Jason said, that's his right to speech and capitalism.

Having not read, seen or heard anything else about this, I appreciate Jason using his free speech to bring this to our attention. If this is the marketing strategy of A&F, may they go out of business soon... and have their high brow wares liquidated/discounted at Ross, Big Lots, Goodwill and DI.

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