I write books. My latest is a YA science fiction novel called Homeland (it's the sequel to Little Brother). More books: Rapture of the Nerds (a novel, with Charlie Stross); With a Little Help (short stories); and The Great Big Beautiful Tomorrow (novella and nonfic). I speak all over the place and I tweet and tumble, too.

138 Responses to “Help make Abercrombie and Fitch synonymous with homelessness”

  1. celandry says:

    Really? Use homeless people as political stooges? No thanks.

    • retchdog says:

      That was exactly my first reaction.

      My second reaction was whether this is really that much worse than, say, the Apple of recent years. Apple doesn’t have a discount line for poor people and they certainly don’t sell “scratch and dent” Macs (they do have refurbs, but I’m sure there are plenty that don’t make it there for aesthetic reasons).

      Apple donates to charity, sure, but A&F does too, just not in kind.

      I’ve never liked A&F and other such “too cool for you” lifestyle places, but let’s not pretend that this outrage is outside the established boundaries of the brand. In fact it’s exactly what they want.

      • Antinous / Moderator says:

        Destroying usable clothing is prima facie fucked up, no matter that it be customary business practice.

        • retchdog says:

          Yes, I agree.

          I learned all I needed to about this in my teens, when I was talking to a manager in the bakery section of a supermarket about how they destroy the stale baked goods. I asked why they don’t donate them, and the crucifix-wearing individual explained how that would devalue the product.

          I’d always known about the cruelty and hypocrisy of religion in an abstract, historical, and logical sense, but this was the first time that I saw a blatant example first-hand.

          However, I’d be surprised if Apple doesn’t destroy its seconds. I’ve certainly never seen them for sale, and at least a few of them must exist. Destroying state-of-the-art computing equipment is also very shitty.

          • mausium says:

            “However, I’d be surprised if Apple doesn’t destroy its seconds. I’ve certainly never seen them for sale, and at least a few of them must exist”

            They may dump them on resellers, who sell them on eBay.

          • cheem says:

             Well, there are two classes of seconds: obsolete machines and defective machines. Defective machines don’t do anyone any good… donating them would do more harm than good. Obsolete machines get repurposed or refurbished and resold. See all those original iPads being used as sales terminals or info stations or car manuals.

          • retchdog says:

            No, there’s a third category: functional, up-to-date, but cosmetically flawed. Dell sells computers in this category at discount, Apple doesn’t.

            Mausium may be right. They might sell through a subsidiary to protect the brand.

          • massspecgeek says:

            I don’t see that Apple “cosmetic seconds” have to exist. The core components of Apple’s products are expensive (mainboard, display, etc) but the exteriors that would be damaged to create a “cosmetic second” are relatively cheap. There’s nothing to say they don’t catch them in QC and send them back to be reskinned. They’d still be new (never left the factory) and the margins are high enough on Apple products to support the additional cost.

          • Funk Daddy says:

            This is the most likely scenario IMO.

            A scratch on the case is all I can think of and is easily remedied in QC or later if caught down the line and never costs more than it ever would to correct and sell as a first.

            Nothing on the outside of the machine is worth setting up a second distribution network when you’ve got a service network  in place and functional that can allow such flaws to be corrected with minimal fuss.

          • Jeff Benson says:

             That’s not religion you’re reacting to; it’s capitalism . . .

          • retchdog says:

            yeah but religion provides the hypocrisy by claiming a moral path.

            outright cruelty is fine by me; it’s like a forehead tattoo that reads “sociopath.”

          • blissfulight says:

            If you believe the opinion page or read through the comments section on any article in the WSJ, you would think capitalism is a religion.  

          • blissfulight says:

            1. Once you have their money, never give it back.

            From the Ferengi Rule’s of Acquisition: http://www.sjtrek.com/trek/rules/

          • Frank W says:

            Celebrity worship and brand loyalty are religion now. What else are they? Capitalism? Loyalty to your supplier is not good business practice, is it?

          • Interestingly, Apple had an eBay store until just a few months ago.  I think that it was starting to become well known.

            http://gizmodo.com/5993215/apples-weird-refurbished-ebay-store-is-gone

          • Navin_Johnson says:

             explained how that would devalue the product.

            Standard procedure for many businesses. Record companies do this too, lest a jillion copies of some poor selling release end up clogging the world’s budget bins and making the label look bad.

      • Tunacorn says:

        My first reaction to your second reaction was… huh??

      • Diskus1 says:

        But Apple sells products to oversized customers…

        • retchdog says:

          If you don’t think your social status and body language change how you’re treated at the “Genius” Bar, you haven’t been to an Apple Store.

          • PhasmaFelis says:

            Any proof of that? I’m scruffy and overweight and I have always gotten prompt, polite service at Apple Stores.

          • retchdog says:

            Maybe you look like an uber-geek? Sometimes they go for that, as long as you “respect” the “genius”.

            Anyway I said status and body language. I don’t have a statistical study, but yes, I have a counter-anecdote. Poor, harried people can’t get a word in edgewise, while the urban sophisticates are fawned over.

            There’s a line in Elias Canetti’s _Voices of Marrakesh_ where he describes that in the bazaar there are always two prices: one for the rich and one for the poor, and the rich get the lower price.

            Although apparently cruel, it makes perfect sense; the rich are worth more as customers, so you should treat them better.

      • Adam Haas says:

        This is a first, I have never heard of Apple donating a cent to charity.

      • Adam Haas says:

        There’s a first. I’ve never heard of Apple donating to charity.

      • PhasmaFelis says:

        …Are you implying that Apple throws away entire computers if the case gets scratched? They may be evil, but they’re not stupid. It takes minutes to remove a few dollars’ worth of metal/plastic casing and replace it with a new one from the shelf.

        • retchdog says:

          Free markets create paradoxes. You are thinking in terms of a centralized “shop,” where things are made and there is some kind of organic give-and-take, people notices inefficiencies, fix them, etc. It doesn’t work that way any more. We’ve discovered that it’s more efficient to shatter this process into pieces and farm them out to the most miserable shitholes in the world. (Well, okay, the most miserable places with the proviso that they have at least some infrastructure. Haiti need not apply.)

          Given that some third-party subsidiaries across the world, barely in contact with Apple, are manufacturing the parts in accordance to specs written by people who probably will never see the products, let alone the factory, I’m not sure it would be cheaper.

          It’s not anymore a matter of stacking up computer parts and sending them downstairs to be looked at. Efficient economies are really freaking weird.

      • Bigus Dickus says:

        In true Apple style one might think that Apple would mark up the price of products with cosmetic defects touting them as a features.

    •  I think the point is, they are valuable. A&F is trying to make people think and feel like they are worthless if they do not fit in with what they consider valuable or beautiful.  They also blatantly destroy clothing that could be donated to the less fortunate. This is a way to do what a&f should be doing while saying, “these people have the right to wear these clothes whether they fit into “your brand of beautiful” or not.” I think it’s a great concept. At the very least clothing is going to people in need.

      • bzishi says:

        No, they are just using the stigma of being homeless to attack A&F so that A&F won’t stigmatize “unattractive people” (fat shaming). As long as people hate the homeless, it works. If people stop stigmatizing the homeless, a new tactic will be needed. It is a very cynical tactic and more or less ignores the humanity of the homeless in order to use its “the ends justify the means” philosophy to fight fat shaming. From an ethical point of view, this is extremely troublesome to me.

        • The Engineer says:

          It’s not about weight, it’s about the fact that they burn clothes instead of giving them away to prevent it from looking like “poor people clothes”.

          • Girard says:

            If that’s what this gesture is about, it is doing ZERO to address that problem, and throwing a bunch of homeless folk under the figurative bus to do so. It’s an extremely stupid, venial, and kind of nasty, gesture.

        •  Yeah, the answer to fat-shaming is not perpetuating classist bullshit, that’s a bit like trying to fight racism with sexism.

      • Tunacorn says:

        Imagine being homeless on the street, everyone who walks by you looks at you and is aware of your situation. Do you need help? Yes. Do you need someone to walk up to you and thrust donations to you with a camera pointed at you? Do you suspect that there is some reason that this well off individual is filming this act of charity? Do you feel obligated to act grateful for the camera? Is this article of clothing what you need? etc… This is disgusting. 

        •  I hate to break it to you, but when you  are truly in need, you don’t care so much about things like shame anymore. When you are in need, and someone gives you what you need, you take it. Yes this is is a publicity stunt. Yes, this guy that made the video is getting tons of attention. Yes, most likely he will profit from it more than anyone else, and yes, this is just to say f*ck you to A&F. HOWEVER, there are perfectly good clothes out there and people that need them. People that A&F thinks are not good enough to wear their clothing. Why not do this? No, you do not have to do what this guy did, randomly thrust clothing at homeless people and humiliate them by filming it. Just take them to a homeless shelter.  If you want to do this, I think it would be better to film some dialog, get people’s reaction to A&F.  A&F thinks these people are not valuable just by how they look.  I am sure dialog will reveal true value.

          • Tunacorn says:

            “Drawing on a database of more than 500 transcribed interviews with people experiencing homelessness we find that descriptions of interactions with staff and providers were predominantly expressed in sharply negative terms, with experiences of objectification and infantilization being commonplace. In response to these experiences, nearly all were angry, and many simply opted out of the social service system in order to maintain a sense of dignity and self-respect.”

            Dignity and indignation: How people experiencing homelessness view services and providers
            Lisa Hoffman, Brian Coffey
            Urban Studies, University of Washington
            http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.soscij.2008.03.001

          • Funk Daddy says:

            “I hate to break it to you, but when you  are truly in need, you don’t care so much about things like shame anymore.”

            That’s “in a deathcamp about to die of starvation or predation” in need. 

            The in need being exploited here is not that. As the excerpt of the study that Tunacorn posted demonstrates, an individuals need for human dignity, self-respect and respect or lack thereof from others come into sharp relief when in socio-economical distress, more than at any other time.

            I didn’t need a study, I’m glad you do to-date and hope it stays that way for you.

    • This is not below boingboing to do, so it’s not too surprising that this runs here

    • Girard says:

       ”Hey, guy, can you help me out? This jerky CEO said that he only wants really beautiful people to buy clothes at his store – so I thought I’d play a real clever trick and give his clothes to a really ugly, disgusting piece of shit like you! Great idea, right? I’m helping!”

    • SedanChair says:

      Yeah, this feels about…80% as exploitative as anything Abercrombie has ever done.

    • PhasmaFelis says:

      It does give good-quality clothes to people who need them. It’d be nice if everyone was doing that anyway, but if it takes a bit of internet grandstanding to put clothes on folks’ backs, well, it’s a damn sight better than nothing.

    • Yeah, this immidiately struck me as a classic example of trying to do the right thing the wrong way…

    • Yup. Bitch has an awesome article about why this sucks. 

      “If you give to the homeless only to punish douchebags, you’re probably a douchebag yourself.”

      http://bitchmagazine.org/post/forcing-your-old-abercrombie-and-fitch-clothes-on-people-is-a-bad-idea

  2. Antinous / Moderator says:

    Does anyone but gay men wear A&F?

  3. destronomics says:

    So playing into AF’s disgusting prejudice is totally progressive. And the homeless just have to take it, because they can’t say no? What part of this do you think makes anyone look good?

    That is pretty fucking gross, you guys.

  4. grimc says:

    #fitchthehomeless, just in terms of language, makes the homeless the target. I like the guy’s intentions – A&F is a fucking horrible brand deserving of abuse – but in practice this is an awful way to go about it.

  5. It’d be a better idea to ship boxes of douchebags to your local A&F, you know so they can have a ready stock for their clientele

  6. hadlockk says:

    Heaven forbid we let free market capitalism succeed. And using the public image of the homeless to advance your agenda? Cory, this reeks on so many levels, I hope you decide to delete your post after some personal introspection.

    • mausium says:

      “Heaven forbid we let free market capitalism succeed”

      this is hilarious right next to “advance your agenda”.

    • Sign Ahead says:

      My concern for the free market is very, very small. I agree, there’s something about #fitchthehomeless that stinks. But it has more to do with stigmatizing the vulnerable than it does with protecting a nebulous ideal.

  7. gracchus says:

    If they want to disuade “attractive people” from buying A&F, they should spread around the articles about its freakshow CEO. I don’t think young and pretty consumers really aspire to be an elderly plastic surgery addict with rage issues.

  8. Mark_Frauenfelder says:

    A note from Mike, our CEO:

    I want to address some of my comments that have been circulating from a 2006 interview. While I believe this 7 year old, resurrected quote has been taken out of context, I sincerely regret that my choice of words was interpreted in a manner that has caused offense. A&F is an aspirational brand that, like most specialty apparel brands, targets its marketing at a particular segment of customers. However, we care about the broader communities in which we operate and are strongly committed to diversity and inclusion. We hire good people who share these values. We are completely opposed to any discrimination, bullying, derogatory characterizations or other anti-social behavior based on race, gender, body type or other individual characteristics.”

    • Rocketpilot says:

      “I sincerely regret that my choice of words was interpreted in a manner that has caused offense”

      Classic twisty non-apology. 

      • Mark_Frauenfelder says:

        Yep. “I am sorry I got caught and was forced to apologize in order to ensure that our corporate bottom line is not affected.”

        • Frank Lee Scarlett says:

          Besides that, since he’s a “cut-throat sharky swim-with-the-sharks” kinda guy, I’d like to point out to him that his clothing line was never an “aspirational brand,” except for pubescent and early post-pubescent jocks and cheerleaders who spent other people’s money. 

          He has failed as a CEO to keep his brand alive as fashion has cyclically changed (as it is wont to do), and therefore, he’s a failed shark. Chum, I think, is the word I’m looking for.

          His ethics and his opinions also suggest that he’s a complete doucheclot. May he slide into irrelevance as a greased pig slips down a bobsled course. (Apologies to entirely hypothetical pig.)

    • retchdog says:

      “aspirational brand”

      HAHHAHAHAHHAHAHAHAA… oh man, that’s good.

    • peacelovecrazy says:

      Interestingly, the stock is doing quite well: http://yhoo.it/10AITBy
      And this article asks whether this is actually helping his business. 
      http://www.guardian.co.uk/media-network/media-network-blog/2013/may/16/abercrombie-fitch-marketing-mike-jeffries
       If he is catering to “mean girls” who want to distance themselves from the hoi polloi, then this controversy makes A&F an even more effective way to do that.  It will be interesting to see what happens.  Is this just going to end up as free publicity for A&F?  Will there be a backlash to the backlash so that the fans become even more committed?

  9. Michael Hassall says:

    Last time I checked A&F DID cater to plus sized people, they go up to double XL. But only in Mens. So its only plus sized women they’re discriminating against…

    If we’re going to start slamming companies for not doing sizes though, I have beef with many shops not stocking enough 36 waists of designer jeans. I’m a 34 but I have an ass, so I have to go the fit up in most cuts. I’m being punished for having an ass.

    But seriously… I don’t understand this gripe, but I’d be open if someone can explain it to me. I don’t go into big-and-tall shops and get angry they don’t have my sizes. I don’t get mad that women seem to get nicer cut tweed jackets than men. I don’t fuss that Rotary or Rolex or Gucci don’t sell watches in my price bracket.

  10. Daniel Klein says:

    This is still fucked up because we’re saying the homeless are a worse class of people and we want to harm this brand by associating them with it. Err, thanks. 

  11. bardfinn says:

    Do not make A&F synonymous with homelessness. The homeless are not a tool or stepping stone in your “struggle” for “social justice”. Donate your used clothing to charities that clothe the homeless and donate your time and money and food, too. Stop buying A&F and tell your friends to stop buying A&F.

    But the homeless are not a billboard, they are not something to be ashamed of even if A&F’s douchebags think they are, they’re not suddenly cool to take action upon because it’s going to make some jackass mildly uncomfortable.

  12. Peter Coffin says:

    Well how about we make fun of the jerk for being a jerk. His apology sucked, too.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Yx1G8Ri1g28

  13. I think the goal here is to de-exclusivize (not a word, I know) A&F clothing. Donating the clothing to goodwill already does that to a degree, but donating it to the homeless takes it one step further.

    Yes, helping the homeless is a worthwhile cause, as is helping people remove the scourge of A&F from their closets. This idea combines both.

    I don’t know that A&F is worth all the effort, but then again, I don’t own any A&F crap, and didn’t have any interest in owning it even when I wasn’t too big to wear it.

    Also: Burning excess clothing instead of donating it is shameful. Donating to worthwhile charities to offset that shameful behavior would be appropriate, and might even be good publicity.

    Also++: I’m sure there are some people out there who *like* A&F *because* it’s an “exclusive” (read “stuck-up”) company, and it appears that A&F is targeting that demographic. It is shameful as a culture that that type of demographic has so much money/influence/purchasing power.

    • アブドル・ハリム says:

      “ I’m sure there are some people out there who *like* A&F *because* it’s an “exclusive” (read “stuck-up”) company, and it appears that A&F is targeting that demographic. It is shameful as a culture that that type of demographic has so much money/influence/purchasing power.”

      That phenomena  is called conspicuous consumption and it is practiced by *looks at bunch of big ass graphs and charts and shit*…every single citizen of America, Canada, and Western Europe.

      • Funk Daddy says:

        LoL no it isn’t. Lots of us woke up decades ago and are passing on responsible behaviour  to our offspring too. 

        Macklemore is spot on in that song, this guy exploiting homeless to hit back at a shitbag factory is off-base. 

        Besides, desperate people don’t need clothes, usually the problem with desperate people and clothes is much more about where to keep them and how to wash them. Tons of agencies can provide free clothing in a heartbeat in most urban centres. That’s because conspicuous consumption and cheaply made soft goods combined means there are probably thousands of cast off clothing items per person on this continent, winding their way back to SA and Asia to be made into fibre again and made into cheap but branded goods to sell to chumps again.

    • Antinous / Moderator says:

      Who could possibly view Abercrombie and Fitch as exclusive?  Gomez Addams hasn’t bought a pith helmet there in half a century.

  14. アブドル・ハリム says:

    the people upset by his comment are saying its okay that luxury products are priced beyond many peoples’ means but its not okay that luxury products are ill-sized for fat people. Probably because the people upset are fat, wealthy people. 

  15. interrera says:

     XL does not equal obese. Depending on your body type, XL can be a perfectly healthy size. I know crossfitters and marathon runners that wear an XL.

    Besides which, do we really need some retail company to discourage obesity? As if people with weight problems have no idea what the world thinks of them.

  16. nzmrmn says:

    Using homeless people as fungible props for someone’s political statement is pretty fucked up.

    •  Yeah, I mean fat-shaming is bullshit, but trying to fight it with Classism is only marginally better.

      • David Harris says:

         If anything I’d say it’s worse in a lot of ways. Barring legitimate medical problems it’s going to be much easier to lose a few pounds than to go from living on the streets to upper middle-class…

  17. Steven B says:

    I don’t think A&F are worthy of our contempt. Only our indifference.

  18. I find the huge reaction to the Abercrombie & Fitch CEO’s words so fascinating that it inspired this essay: http://wp.me/p2wzRb-7o

  19. Lauren S says:

    Lol yeah because if fat people just had more people telling them to lose weight, they’d stop being lazy and do it. Society has never ever tried that before.
    get a life.

  20. Funk Daddy says:

    I think there is little outrage “now” but their brand and others are generally disliked by persons who think conspicuous consumption esp. linked with body-shaming and classist attitudes are unappealing.

    Not surprisingly, many of these people who are or want to be socially responsible and caring also find this campaign to be disturbing and unethical.

    Picture two shitbags harming one another with different implements. That’s what we have here.

  21. I have had my home destroyed year before last and when you are at the point of not having anything.You don’t give much of a care what is it that you are getting to wear,it’s CLOTHES on their back and that is all that matters. 

    • ocschwar says:

      And interview-ready garments to boot. 

    • JProffitt71 says:

      I am mildly annoyed with this stunt because people could give far more decent clothes to the homeless for the same price as A&F’s bullshit, perhaps even some food. As it is they are essentially subsidizing A&F for being dicks, and I don’t see A&F changing their behavior at all.

      Granted it’s nice to donate A&F clothes to the homeless, but not very efficient if you really want to help the homeless or punish A&F. 

      What if we got celebrities to denounce A&F, shame people who wear it? I bet Wil Wheaton would get behind that.

    • Navin_Johnson says:

      Surely there’s a more dignified way to help people get clothes than filming it on the street….

  22. Jackie Blue says:

    The difference between A&F and other exclusive-type brands is the CEO had the gall to say what he said. It’s not capitalism, because capitalism doesn’t give a hoot who spends the money. It’s not honesty either, it’s just being mean.

    And obviously, most people commenting here have never dealt with the homeless. I live in a large metropolitan city with approx 3000 homeless every year. I just don’t give them food, money and clothing, I talk to them, find out their names and sometimes a bit of their lives. There’s Chuck, Smurf, Mary and Rusty, to name a few. Some of them work on occasion. Others aren’t able, physically or mentally.

    It’s a good idea to give your used clothing to a shelter anyway. Good Will, Salvation Army, your local church. It’s also a good idea to have drives (spring is a good time for cleaning), at your job, collect clothes and call a mission, shelter or veterans to come get them if you can’t deliver them. I love this idea in the video, though, with A&F clothes specifically. For me, it’s an added bonus.

    • the__fool says:

       There are important differences in what you do and what this gentlemen did (at least based on the information he put out to the world). You seemed to only be focused on the aspect of handing a homeless person clothing.

  23. blissfulight says:

    This is what happens when you organize your company around your personality deficits and childhood traumas.  

    • Lithi says:

      Yeah, I thought the CEO must have been beat up every day in high school. 

      Also, I thought A+F hadn’t been relevant since 2000. Guess I was wrong. 

      • blissfulight says:

        There was an interesting article in the New Yorker that I can’t link to (buried in the Archives), and essentially, the guy never left high school and was left out because he was gay, so he’s spent his whole life trying to recreate that experience so that he can be part of the ‘cool’ gang.  It’s kind of a miserable life.  

        • Lithi says:

          Wow. And I thought it was bad that some of the cool kids at my high school didn’t leave school mentally and still hang on to times long gone a la Al Bundy.  

          • blissfulight says:

            I found the article!  I was looking in the wrong place (always trust Google, and not shoddy memories):  http://www.salon.com/2006/01/24/jeffries/

            And the ‘analysis’ was my own take on him, not something necessarily reflected very deeply in the article, so take that with a grain of salt.  

    • retchdog says:

      You make a lot of money?

      • blissfulight says:

        Yes, I’m a billionaire.  

        266.  When in doubt, lie.  From the Ferengi Rule’s of Acquisition:  http://www.sjtrek.com/trek/rules/

  24. lummels says:

    Really, Cory? This tactic gets your enthusiastic support? How low can you go?  :o(  And if you meant to be sarcastic–which I don’t attribute to your style–I’d say you missed the ball there as well.

  25. kmoser says:

    This is bound to backfire. First, even negative publicity is better than no publicity. Second, it’s only a matter of time before “homeless chic” becomes the new rage and people begin buying–wait for it–pre-stressed A&F clothing.

  26. bcsizemo says:

    That’s easy, A&F isn’t a true luxury brand.

    There is practically an A&F in every mall I’ve been to…I’ve never been somewhere that sold real Louis Vuitton (or at least that I was aware of).  It’d be like Lexus claiming to be as luxury as Bugatti.  Or comparing Coach to Vuitton.  Sure Coach is nice, but it doesn’t have the “prestige” of a Louis Vuitton.

  27. redesigned says:

    i don’t get this…someone who can’t be bothered to donate food to the homeless because they need it, or functional warm clothes because they need those, but who will donate a bunch of crap just to say FU to A&F will never get my support.

    how about helping the homeless and ignoring A&F and not buying their clothes new or used?  A&F is only as relevant as the collective attention given to them, ignoring them altogether is a better tactic.  The homeless need real help, not to be tools of some douche with a corporate vendetta, imho.

  28. James Duren says:

    AF can market to whomever they want, just like this website markets to a certain kind of person. That’s not the issue. 

    The issue is, 1. AF is burning perfectly good clothes that could be used to help someone in need, and, 2. AF’s clothes come from factories where death and injury are commonplace. From 2007-2012, 600 garment workers died in Bangladesh factories producing fashion items for AF and other big-name fashion retailers. Take your focus off AF’s marketing strategy and turn it toward the marginalized…the homeless and the factory workers. Simple acts of justice can change the world. If you want to buy AF, buy their clothes used. If you don’t want to buy AF, then give their clothes away. But don’t turn around and spend thousands on a Mac, hundreds on a pair of Beats headphones or a small fortune on those sunglasses you “can’t do without.”

    http://www.jrduren.blogspot.com

  29.  people who care more about the air of implied wealthiness A&F gives you than they care about how they actually look.

  30. Ian Wood says:

    Because someone dug up an interview with the A&F CEO from four or five years ago, made a graphic with the quote, and hit Facebook and Reddit with it. That’s the only reason. It’s a social media artifact.

  31. peregrinus says:

    Have you all considered that the potential recipients of the clothes might actually be in on the game?  That we’d ask if they want it and why, and they can make a choice.

    Or we could patronisingly assume that because they’re homeless, they lack the capacity to understand anything happening around them.  Because homelessness is a simple path – born into destitution, no education, on the streets by 13, witless and incapable.

    I wonder what would actually happen – maybe A&F would send people out to buy the clothes back, at which point the homeless community could start bargaining.  They know the value of money.

    But to be balanced, there could also be some weird attacks on the homeless, which we’ve seen before.

  32. What the hell, BoingBoing? Usually you are so much better than sharing nasty ignorant stuff like this. 

  33. Lolzgym says:

    lol A&F doesn’t care.. somebody paid for those clothes the homeless are wearing more $$ 

  34. Despite good intentions this video has a few problems, cheifly of which

    If you’re trying to stop the humiliation of a powerless group, not letting them speak on camera or form an opinion, doesn’t exactly empower them or give them a chance to respond or defend themselves.

    Instead being handed clothes, seemingly out of nowhere for no reason, makes them a secondary concern. The focus is on the bearded dude being the white knight, so now I wonder what motivations underlay the making of this film..

  35. Jackie Blue says:

    Wow. While you hipster dufus’ are on your high horses pontificating if the homeless are being exploited (by someone giving them clothes??)  the rest of us sappy do-gooders are actually doing something to help them. So blow it out your keester. You don’t want to help the homeless? Don’t do it, but don’t crap on those who do. Good grief.

    • the__fool says:

      There’s nothing idiotic or hipster about the argument that this is exploiting the homeless. The receiving of a gift is not the be all and end all of this situation. If I punch you and then give you an ice cream cone- I still punched you. A historic argument for slave labour is that they make more money than they would otherwise.  It seems you’ve made zero attempt to understand the argument and every attempt to insult. Oh wait- I forgot- I’m on the internet. Never mind. 

  36. donovan acree says:

    I’m just concerned that if you start giving A&F to the homeless, general douchebaggery and date rapiness will increase among the homeless. They already have enough problems.

  37. Parm says:

    On behalf of ShitShows everywhere, I demand an apology..

  38. Parm says:

    This behaviour of not having larger/taller sizes is not exclusive to A&F.  

    Gap, BR, Old Navy don’t stock tall sizes anymore despite those always selling out online probably because they don’t want those ‘big people’, many of them of a certain racial pedigree seen in their stores.

    • Jackie Blue says:

       True, but GAP, BR (?), Old Navy, etc. don’t have the audacity to tell the public that they only want Barbie and Ken and not chubby ethnic people. Get the diff?

  39. Kristen Smith says:

    Goal of Brand: Abercrombie + Fitch = skinny and attractive. Therefore skinny > fat OR attractive > unattractive.
    No one said they had to appeal to everyone or target the broadest audience possible. It seems more about idealizing skinny white girls than fat shaming. I think it touched a nerve with people insecure about their own weight and body image. Rather than cope with one’s own insecurity by actively building confidence or self-esteem, it’s often easier to lash out at others for making you feel bad about yourself. Companies exist to make a profit. If their niche audience ceases to be profitable, they would move on and target another group (which you still might not be a part of). Don’t like it? Don’t shop there.

    Goal of Rebrand: Abercrombie + Fitch = homeless. Therefore homeless < fat/unattractive/etc.
    The problem is that the goal is not to help the homeless, it's to shame Abercrombie + Fitch. Intentions matter as much as the execution of an idea. Badly done.

  40. redesigned says:

    using the homeless for spreading ones own message/agenda is using the homeless regardless the cause, #fitchthehomeless believes they are doing it for a good political messaging cause, #P1124 believes they are doing it for a good religious messaging cause.  Changing the color of the spots doesn’t change the nature of the beast.  I don’t think either group has bad intentions, on the contrary i think they both have good intentions but are blinded by their own agendas.

    neither group is focusing on what the homeless actually need or on maximizing the value of the donations and usability to the homeless.  In both cases the actual welfare of the homeless is a distant second to the messages they are trying to spread through their homeless billboards.  if you’ve ever lived on the street you’d know that a plain flannel shirt or sweater, a rain jacket, and a few t-shirts go a long long way.  You don’t want impractical branded crap with someone else’s messaging, you want the basics that are highly functional, because you have to wear and carry what you have.  P1124 would be much better if they saved the money spent on subtle religious branding and handed out plain functional clothes instead, imho.

    the homeless don’t need to be branded or to have a brand. no one should be the #1 brand of the homeless, because that is just wrong, if your intentions are to help the homeless then drop the idea of branding the homeless.

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