Sometimes a corporation can save itself from a scandal—apologies are made, people move on—but this is unlikely to be that time. Abercrombie and Fitch announced plans earlier this month to start offering clothing to “plus-sized” women. This decision can possibly be attributed to Benjamin O’Keefe, a teen who launched a petition to demand Abercrombie change their size. "Six months ago I started this campaign asking Abercrombie & Fitch to offer an expanded range of sizes after I heard CEO Mike Jeffries’ disparaging and harmful comments about plus size people," O'Keefe stated. In an interview from 2006 that resurfaced a few months back, Abercrombie & Fitch CEO Mike Jeffries made a comment about the brand’s ideal audience, saying: “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. We go after the attractive all-American kid with a great attitude and a lot of friends. A lot of people don’t belong and they can’t belong. Are we exclusionary? Absolutely.”
In the backlash mothers, teenagers and even celebrities stepped up to the plate to speak against the brand, sparking movements like Fitch the Homeless as a way to retaliate against a label that only seemed to want to dress the beautiful, thin and popular teens of America. But now, they're making the tactical move from highly exclusionary practices to plus-sized clothing. "I'm elated to see that good does win out if you are willing to fight for it. Thank you to everyone who lent their voices and their stories to this movement," O'Keefe said. Only time will tell if these changes will make any difference in the public's perception of the clothing brand.
Should designers have to change their lines to fit everyone and does it make a difference when it's a luxury name or a teen-focused label?