Old Wives' Tales
Radio & TV
Toxin du jour
Claim: Complaints led to clothing retailer Abercrombie & Fitch's pulling a line of
Origins: In April 2002, clothing retailer Abercrombie & Fitch unleashed a line of
After receiving "hundreds and hundreds" of complaints about the shirts (largely from Asian-American college students, who were presumably one of Abercrombie & Fitch's primary target groups for the shirts in the first place) in mid-April, A&F withdrew the items from their stores nationwide and discontinued catalog sales.
Abercrombie & Fitch maintained it had poked fun at other groups (such as women, Irish-Americans, and skiers) in the past, and the current line of
Thomas D. Lennox, A&F's senior manager of investor relations and corporate communications, said: "It's not, and never has been, our intention to offend anyone. These graphic
Members of the Asian-American community offered a variety of reasons why they found the shirts offensive:
At one Abercrombie & Fitch store in San Francisco on Thursday, sales of the shirts remained brisk and a man who identified himself as a store manager said he had received no word from company headquarters to stop selling the shirts.Abercrombie & Fitch probably lost more customers than they gained, however:
"I don't understand what the big problem is," he said. "The first kid to come in and buy these shirts this week had the last name of Wong."
Nearby, people rushed to rummage through shirts that filled a table as though a Kmart blue-light special had just been announced.
When asked if the shirts were selling well, one female clerk responded, "Oh my Lord yes! We don't have any more in back stock. They're jumping off the shelves."
. . . to Terry Fung, 25, who first discovered the shirts over the weekend at San Francisco's Stonestown Galleria mall, the shirts felt like a direct attack.
"I was so shocked that I just stood there staring at the shirts for a good two to three minutes,'' said the Chinese-American online marketer. "Now the anger is setting in. I have a few pieces of clothing from Abercrombie. Now I don't want to wear anything from there anymore."
Last updated: 3 May 2007
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