Leading Irish tailor Louis Copeland has labelled the head of US clothes giant Abercrombie and Fitch an “idiot” for effectively telling “old, fat, and ugly” people not to shop at the stores.
In a recently resurfaced 2006 interview for new book The Rules of Retail, the US firm’s CEO, Mike Jeffries, openly said his company targets young, thin, and beautiful people.
The worldwide A&F chain opened its first Irish store in Dublin last year.
In the initial interview, Mr Jeffries said: “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 [in our clothes], and they can’t belong. Are we exclusionary? Absolutely.”
The A&F chief has since apologised for the remark, saying his comments had been taken out of context.
However, Ireland’s self-styled “tailor to the stars” Louis Copeland, said the remark was disgraceful, adding that “any idiot can make young and beautiful people look good”.
“It seems that if you are too old, too fat, or too ugly you are apparently not welcome at A&F.
“This is really outrageous. The fact is that any idiot can make young and beautiful people look good. The real art of tailoring, however, is making everybody look good.”
He added that, given the option of wearing A&F clothes or not, “with an attitude like that many people may prefer to go naked”.
The public spat is the latest row involving the A&F clothes range, which is considered to be targeted at a specific audience instead of all shoppers.
In an attempt to combat the allegedly elitist approach, Los Angeles-based customer Greg Karber has been buying the brand’s clothes in bulk since the original 2006 interview — only to give them away to homeless people.
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