Abercrombie & Fitch Insists It’s Changed From Its ‘Problematic’ Past
Abercrombie & Fitch is trying to get ahead of the release of the upcoming Netflix documentary, which is set to lift the veil on its controversial past.
The retailer shared a message via social media in response to the upcoming release of White Hot: The Rise & Fall of Abercrombie & Fitch — a documentary that shines a light on the mall staple's early rise to popularity and its alleged discriminatory hiring process.
"In the spirit of transparency, we want to directly acknowledge the news of an upcoming documentary that will feature Abercrombie & Fitch and focus on an era that took place under previous leadership," the clothing store wrote via Instagram.
"While the problematic elements of that era have already been subject to wide and valid criticism over the years, we want to be clear that they are actions, behaviors and decisions that would not be permitted or tolerated at the company now."
The brand went on to thank the customers who have stood by them through the transition.
"As we've evolved, we've felt the love from this community," the post continued. "We are grateful for the support you have given us as we've taken intentional steps to be inclusive and welcoming to everyone."
The company added: "Thank you for giving us the chance to show you who Abercrombie is today, and for being a part of who we will be tomorrow. We know the work is never done and remain committed to continually creating a company of which we can all be proud."
The trailer for the documentary reveals former employees' testimonies about the retailer's image and how the store's persona was marked by dark lighting, dance music, a strong signature scent and shirtless men standing at the entrance.
Watch the trailer below:
"Abercrombie & Fitch said, 'We go after the cool kids. If they didn't look a certain way, they didn't belong in our clothing,'" one commentator says in the trailer. "Are we exclusionary? Absolutely."
Many people complained that the company only catered to "young, thin and white" customers in the past.
According to CEO Fran Horowitz, the retailer stands for something different these days.
“Abercrombie isn’t a brand where you need to fit in—it’s one where everyone truly belongs. We lead with purpose, and that inclusive and equitable spirit is woven throughout all we do,” the store's site reads today.
White Hot: The Rise & Fall of Abercrombie & Fitch streams on Netflix April 19.