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Abercrombie & Fitch CEO’s Alleged Comments About ‘Larger’ Shoppers Strike An Angry Chord With Women

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LOS ANGELES (CBSLA.com) — Controversial comments about plus-size shoppers allegedly made by the CEO of Abercrombie & Fitch have struck an angry chord with women.

According to Robin Lewis, the author of “The New Rules of Retail,” CEO Mike Jeffries said “he doesn’t want larger people shopping in his store. He wants thin and beautiful people. He doesn’t want his core customers to see people who aren’t as hot as them wearing his clothing. People who wear his clothing should feel like they’re one of the ‘cool kids.’”

In a 2006 interview with Salon magazine, Jeffries admitted his company doesn’t target all shapes and sizes.

He said, “A lot of people don’t belong (in our clothes), and they can’t belong. Are we exclusionary? Absolutely.”

CBS2’s Kristine Lazar spoke with a number of women who were outraged about Jeffries’ stance on what is considered beautiful.

“Tells (women) that they need to be a certain size in order to appreciate their body and that’s not true,” said shopper Andrea Haykel.

“To be thin is to be cool, that’s what I think (he’s saying),” said Denise Vanleuvan. “That’s not okay.”

“There are full-figured women out there and they shouldn’t be judged by this man,” said Jessica Nerio.

Erica Ives, a certified eating disorder specialist, said it’s up to parents to use the publicity surrounding Jeffries’ quote to open up a dialogue with their teen.

“The first thing is…do not minimize their experience. But then, yes, you have to focus on the other traits that make people beautiful,” she said.

Lazar’s calls to Abercrombie’s headquarters were not returned.

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