Tag Archives: vanity sizing

Abercrombie & Fitch and Marketing 101

Dipping in and out of the social media channels today I’ve noticed a lot of irate posts and comments regarding a recent article in Business Insider about the comments made by the Abercrombie & Fitch CEO, Mike Jeffries.  Basically he has said that he only wants ‘cool, thin, beautiful people wearing Abercrombie’s clothes’.  Reading the comments stirred me – but not into resolute agreement with the dissenters I’m afraid.

Before I continue I will preface with saying I am not fatist, remember?  I’ve been there, and I know what it’s like not being able to buy the clothes I want.  Even if the sizes were available – at my largest I really should not even have been thinking about wearing some styles from stores like H&M and A&F.

So back to what Mr. Jeffries said.  Anyone who has studied Marketing 101 knows that every great (and not so great) brand has a target.  You sacrifice being everything to all people in order to become niche with a certain core target.  In theory all brands are exclusionary.  Cartier market to wealthy individuals, Jenny Craig market to those that want to lose weight, Walmart target to those that want to ‘Save money. Live better.’, and Lane Bryant market to plus size women.  Where are the complaints about these brands being exclusionary?  I bet if you saw some of the white boards in those offices with the brand’s target demos, psychos and guiding principles written out, you would shudder to see who it really is they want buying their product.

I disagree completely with The Daily Mail’s summary regarding the furore – “But it might be time to change this dated business model. Plus-size, generally referring to U.S. 14 and above, makes up 67per cent of America’s purchasing population.”  Let’s stop increasing this number and start addressing the problem by getting healthier America!  I’ve often aired my hope that Zara doesn’t start vanity sizing for the US.  Their sales are not as good here as in Europe due, it is said, to the larger average size of the American woman.  Put bluntly a lot of American women can’t fit into Zara’s Large (very few of their clothes go to an XL).  Keep the clothes as they are – those that are desperate to wear the clothes and can’t, can go for a run and stay away from the chocolate.

Now I do realize this isn’t just about being ‘large’.  It’s also the reference to needing to be a ‘cool kid’ to shop there – and I get that.  There are all sorts of pressures on children as it is – never mind them worrying about being cool enough or not to wear Abercrombie, but ‘kids that are cool’ versus ‘kids that are not’ is nothing new.  Yes I have watched The Breakfast Club way too many times.  As far as I am aware most high schoolers can’t afford to shop in A&F without their parents chipping in – so surely that is where a parent helps to guide them with their clothes choices?  If, as a parent, you oppose the brand’s targeting practices don’t shop there.

So in conclusion to my random thoughts on the subject – I actually applaud Mike Jeffries for being open about his target market – it really doesn’t take much to work it out.  I can’t see it damaging A&F, in fact for many it will become more desirable – and for those objectors there are many other places to shop.


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Calories burned > calories in.

Yesterday started early with a 10 mile run – my last long run before the Zooma half marathon next weekend.  I wasn’t sure I was in the mood for it as I woke at 7am but by the time I’d fueled myself with pancake and coffee I was excited to get going and the weather was perfect for 2 hours outside.  I was frustrated though as it took me a while to find my rhythm – sometimes I wonder why I don’t see the huge improvement I want over the course of several runs.  I find running is definitely mind over matter and once you feel out of sync it’s difficult to pull it back.  I can set out feeling exactly the same and run a scorcher one day and fall completely flat another.  Anyway I managed to get going and forced myself to floor it going up the long hill which we like to torture ourselves with.  I have a new mantra which I keep reciting in my head since I got my Newtons, ‘land, lever, lift’ – it’s quite a good rhythm to run to!  We set a good pace but I wish I’d finished stronger – I guess I’ll keep that with me as I run along a nice flat course next week aiming for a PB:)

I was very grateful to MM who not only watched the kids while I was running but then allowed me to have a nap for an hour to recharge before we headed out to dinner with Mike.  I felt like a million dollars after a good sleep and knew I could indulge guilt free after all the calories burned that morning!  I chose to wear my new AllSaints Dissolve dress.  I just love it.  It is a simple t-shirt dress with a little bit extra – and I love the long sleeves but it’s still light enough to wear on a warm evening.  I think all AllSaints clothes run big and this is a UK size 8 which I could never get into in other brands.  The Economist had this interesting piece on size inflation the other week – talk about vanity sizing! The skirt is lovely and kicks out perfectly – I have to say I felt dead sexy in it (without wanting to sound like Samantha Brick – though I recently heard a friend had labeled me a narcissist for my blogging…not bothered lol).

We had a great evening, with good conversation.  Abattoir is always one of our favorite spots and last night they had lots of my favorite vegetable on the menu – rhubarb.  My cocktail was a Rhubarb Ricky – delicious!

So a little tired today but looking forward to a fun day in the sun again.  Maybe the paddling pool will come out for the first time, and then we’re grilling out later.  I have the perfect Boden stripy tunic to wear.  This dusk stripe was actually my least favorite color of the four I bought, but I have to say I love it on – even MM said he loved it and he initially preferred the darker radish and French blue ones.  My dermatologist will be mad but everything does look a little better with a bit of sun on the skin – don’t worry I’m still wearing my SPF 30!