ABERCROMBIE & FITCH’S RELIGION PROBLEM
Catalyst September Issue 2011
A young Muslim woman recently sued Abercrombie & Fitch after she was fired for violating the clothier’s “look policy,” which the company interpreted as not permitting Muslim headscarfs.
As a private company, Abercrombie & Fitch has a legal right to determine its own policies. But from a moral perspective, what it did to this woman is a joke. This is the same company that directs its models not to wear clothes while selling its line of clothing. Indeed, it can’t even sell men’s cologne these days without dabbling in soft porn.
In 2003, we addressed Abercrombie & Fitch’s Christmas catalog saying, “The photos more closely resemble an ad for a nudist colony.” Two years earlier, the clothier released a catalog titled, “A&F XXX Adventure: Get Wet Set & Go on Spring Break.” It was so replete with male and female nudity that a “Warning Label” had to be placed on the cover.
At bottom, Abercrombie & Fitch has a religion problem. In the aforementioned 2001 “Spring Break” catalog, it advised readers to adorn their spring break hotel rooms with “palm fronds” that can be taken “for free if you crash a Catholic mass [sic] on Palm Sunday.” In the same issue, a creepy cult movie was reviewed, and to the utter delight of the reviewer, readers were instructed to learn how to “make wry comments after bashing a dead nun’s head to a pulp.”
So it’s not just Muslims that Abercrombie & Fitch likes to bash. Our guess is that if some smart-aleck woman wore nothing but a loincloth—using a hijab to cover her genitals—she would pass the company’s “look policy” with flying colors. They really are a sick bunch.