Remember that LFO song ‘Summer Girls’?
The one where the guy sings, “I like girls that wear Abercrombie & Fitch”?
Anyway, it was released in 1999 when the clothing company’s popularity was nearing its peak.
Fast forward 20-odd years and the tide has very much turned, with a litany of costly lawsuits denting its reputation.
In a 2004 class-action suit the company was accused of discriminating against African Americans, Latinos, Asian Americans, and women by preferentially offering positions to Caucasian males, eventually paying a $40 million settlement.
That’s just one of many examples highlighted in the Netflix doccie White Hot: The Rise & Fall of Abercrombie & Fitch, reports Collider:
White Hot follows not a person so much as a corporate ethos: one that transformed a hundred-year-old company from a purveyor of quiet, quality clothing into a loud, highly sexualized brand that used a combination of aggressive marketing and allegedly racist, sexist, and xenophobic hiring policies to create an unfortunately desirable air of exclusivity. As odious as all that sounds, it worked — at least for a time…
As the tastes of teens moved on to new brands, the company found itself the subject of multiple lawsuits filed in response to worker complaints. It’s a story of fickle fashion and corporate comeuppance that dovetails nicely with pressing conversations of race and sexism currently underway and general millennial nostalgia.
Produced and directed by Alison Klayman, perhaps best known for her 2021 Alanis Morissette documentary Jagged, it’s set to be another major headache for a company that critics claim has been in freefall for years.
The trailer was released yesterday:
“They didn’t invent evil, they didn’t invent class. They just packaged it.”
White Hot: The Rise and Fall of Abercrombie & Fitch drops on Netflix on April 19.
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