The history of Abercrombie. David Abercrombie, who was later joined by Ezra Fitch, the co-founder, founded Abercrombie in 1892. It was a fashionable sports commodity store, but diversified in the new 20th century. However, David left the company, ushering the Fitch years of management. Several leadership successions took place before the downfall in 1977. Mike Jeffries of Limited Brands revived the reputation of the ailing company in 1988. It was transformed to a fashion retailer focusing on youths as major customers. Abercrombie and Fitch Company has grown to be a multi-billion dollar firm on the verge of experiencing economic growth. Key figures involved in the patronization of the company include John F. Kennedy, American president, Amelia Earhart, Greta Garbo, and Clark Gable.
The post Fitch period commenced in 1928 when Fitch retired. James Cobb, who purchased Lengerke & Detmold, bought it. Lengerke & Detmold was a well-recognized New York Vendor for sporting guns and fishing tackle from Europe. In addition, he acquired Griffin & Howe, a gunsmith company. In 1960, the sales rocketed to16.5 billion dollars as the net profit fell to approximately 185 thousand dollars. This was due to the little attention paid by the successor executives. In 1968, it held a warehouse and in premature 1970s presented offbeat advisements revealing how desperate the company was (Frank, Bernanke and Kaufman).
The success of Abercrombie and Fitch is allied to advertisements and the target customers they have, which are the youth (Steinberg, Parmar and Richard, 106). Currently, the company’s brand is deluging the wardrobes of American teens, which show that Abercrombie is still the company to beat by other competitors offering fashion wear. We need to ask ourselves why Abercrombie is the most preferable store to many teens despite the nature of arrogance that is ingrained in their way of service. Frank, Bernanke and Kaufman, (52) assert that, deeper evaluation will reveal that just like any other firm, Abercrombie uses advertising methods to increase sales. However, the nature of their advertising is quite different from other firms. Their advertising model explains why most teens are going to the Abercrombie in the United States.
Abercrombie and sexism. Abercrombie fashion marks the end of preadolescent and the commencement of a teenager. Teen age is characterized by the rise in hyper-sexualization similar to what is portrayed in Abercrombie adverts, which contains almost naked models postures. Such adverts are likely to motivate teenagers to begin exploring the mystery that underlies beneath advert (Billingsley and Billingsley). This lands teenagers on dangerous grounds of attempting what they actually cannot do safely.
Most teens regard wearing Abercrombie as increasing the chances of rising to celebrity. Research reveals that Abercrombie fashion fans have a one tenth of one percent increase in their pursuit to celebrity whereas not embracing it by not wearing implies that you will never be a celebrity or popular. Most teenagers clinch popularity to be fully acknowledged as a member of the age group (Schwartz, 87). This is due to the uniformity nature that characterizes this type of people. A teen will walk into an Abercrombie store, to purchase an outfit that regards his status as one of this group. Additionally, the loving system of the company empowers many youths to be a tool for marketing Abercrombie’s products (Schwartz, 11). Wearing an outfit labeled “Abercrombie” proves you are advertising on their behalf to fellow teens. This apparently indicates why many teens have their wardrobes flooded with the company’s product.
A scenario implying sexism connected to Abercrombie is the demeaning catchphrase on t-shirts and short skirts worn by young people. It raises concern, since such a fashion is not liable to make one be accepted. It erodes the ability to grow confidently and fearlessly. The anti-Abercrombie claim that there is no cultivating future for female presidents brought up in the mortifying environment mystified in wearing minimal clothes that delineate Abercrombie and Fitch. This reveals the sexism in absorbed by the present youth, facilitated by the Abercrombie fashion style.
The company released t-shirts with degrading, confrontational messages intended for women. Phrases such as “who needs brain when got these” written in their chest evidently reveals the deep-routes sexism in the Abercrombie and Fitch. Refusing to conform to the Abercrombie way portrays one as a strange person who goes against the wish of many. Such people refuse to be restricted to the teeny-skinny jeans. They have trouble in their acceptance by the society and are more frequently mystified by their eccentricity and self-portrayed confidence.
The frontage billboard on a four-story building in Singapore showing a guy heaving down low rise jeans was bound to raise concern in the public. The same picture is often present on Abercrombie and Fitch’s shopping bags. This type of advertising employs sexism to lure buyers and can be termed as vulgar. The advertising standard authority of Singapore reacted by claiming that the photo was objectionable and commanded to suspend the billboard (Bolton, 89). Abercrombie as a violation of advertising codes considered the move. However, the advertising association was unable to pull it down. The company had its own ways to pull it down, but any other firm or organization could do it. Abercrombie and Advertising Standard authority of Singapore seem to be antagonistic on the issue. The ASAS is still waiting for the Abercrombie’s action though nothing has happened. This clearly shows that the motive behind the billboard is not connected to advertising and raises some questions.
Employing sex to increase sells is strange, but to Abercrombie it is a normal way of advertising. The Christian die-hards consider this as way gone too far by launching a community-founded embargo to reveal how the issue has piqued them. The boycott was due to the company’s quarterly catalog splashed with anterior nudity upholding sexual promiscuity (Bolton, 85). The company reacts to the church’s claim with arrogance, putting forward that the “group sex” has nothing wrong. It further, added that the sexy models in front covers are all 18 years and over and the catalog is sold to over 18. This reveals that the company has regard to the effects they are imposing to the younger generation. The portrayal of such a level of sexism has aroused mixed reactions among people. The anti-Abercrombie views it as ill-mannered way of advertising.
A rapid skim over the company’s website discloses a considerable degree of sexism deeply engrossed in the company’s culture of advertising. It reveals the company’s center of attention in marketing and the idea concealed behind media publicity surrounding A&F’s sexualization of youth. The website provides sexual contents especially under the categories of men and women (Weber, 89). The site introduces the visitor to demonstrations of activities embedded in an excessively sexualized enthusiasm. The fundamental ideas concealed by these revelations are closely allied to a longing representation, which is actually sexism.
Abercrombie and racism. With regard to racism, the firm has been accused of employing individuals who they feel will actual sell their products. However, the rightfulness or wrongness of the action raise a controversy since maintaining a good look cannot be justified as discrimination. Employing attractive people is legal, but race-based selecting is illegal. The company’s image has changed to bare-naked models, living fantasy lives during holidays intended to increase sales. This makes anti-Abercrombie wonder whether the company is actually selling clothes or sex. Three distinguished court proceedings have been reported against Abercrombie and Fitch. The lawsuit claims that the company has discriminating employment mechanism. The applicants who wish to work in Abercrombie claim that their applications have been rejected because of their skin color.
The company has also been alleged to be promoting ignorance on the foundation of racism (McBride, 12). This is through graphic printed on the company’s t-shirts decorated with Asian comic strips. Shally-Jensen (54) asserted that the graphics are undignified parody of Asian Americans that depend on the racist typecasts as a source of comedy. It is unethical to portray a fellow American by humiliating and stereotyping his race and way of living for the sake increasing sales. This is offensive and reveals the racist characteristic of the company.
Some slogans incorporated with unique depiction of Asian American laundrymen portraying the racism of Abercrombie are the slogans, such as “Two wrongs can make it White” and “Get your Buddha on the floor”. Such misrepresentations have no position in the current organization searching for the business of Asian Americans (Kirilmaz, 90). The disrespects for Buddhists by Abercrombie and Fitch supplement the rate of racism by the company. The Asian Americans perceived the situation as lack of humor and diplomacy. The company apologized and advocated that it was intended to be funny. In reaction to their statement, Asians held on those racial stereotypes, religious disrespects are not funny, and their statement is incomprehensible (Schwartz, 84). It is believed that the company will not stereotype other races, such as African American.
Various lawsuits reveal the racist characteristic of the clothing company. An example of such lawsuit is the Gonzalez versus Abercrombie &Fitch. The lawsuit required the company to compensate 40 million dollar to the Latino, African American, Asian Americans and women applicants who sued the company for discrimination offenses. Shally-Jensen(56) points out that, the ruling necessitated that Abercrombie and Fitch should come up with a range of policies to support the diversification in its labor force and curb racial or gender discrimination.
Some lawyers have asserted that the company has a history of racial inconsiderateness by giving a wrong depiction of Asian Americans in their clothing. They also confirmed that the company had to pull the clothing from their racks after the allegations were reported to a court (Shally-Jensen, 80). Other black applicants also pointed out that the chances of a black securing an interview opportunity with the company is fruitless since they throw such applications in the trash bin. An arbitrary evaluation of the company’s catalogs, quarterlies and website apparently denotes very few non-white racial faces (McBride, 31). According to A & F, it is not a proof of racism. They produced a written statement to counter the claims, saying that it racism is an intolerable practice and almost 13% of the firm comprises of minorities.
In conclusion, the company began as sporting and expedition goods vendor in Manhattan and diversified to selling clothes, among other things. They have gained a larger marketing, similar to other top fashion companies in the United States. Most youths are inclined to their product brands due to their way of advertising, which is claimed to be sexually oriented. Some of the adverts that raise public concern include the five-story billboard at the façade of Singapore store and their shopping bags, and the demeaning messages on t-shirts. In addition, the Asian Americans have criticized the firm as being racist due to the portrayal of their culture and race.