Abercrombie No Shirtless Models Policy

Abercrombie No Shirtless Models Policy

Valerie Pham, Photojournalist

On April 23, 2015 Abercrombie and Hollister sent out a memo to all of their employees regarding changes in their store policy. The new policy states that the store managers can no longer hire future employees based on their body type and physical attractiveness. The policy also included changes in the store’s promotional merchandise, such as shopping bags, gift cards. The marketing materials will no longer feature scantily clad models. The store associate’s titles have also been changed from “model,” to “brand representative.” There will also no longer be any shirtless models at any promotional events such as store openings. There will also be an addition of plus-sized apparel to the clothing line.


The brand’s president stated that by the end of July there will no longer be any “sexualized” images on the bags and gift cards.  Abercrombie’s Christos Angelides and Hollister’s Fran Horowitz prompted these changes. These changes were made in an attempt to change the poor image of the company.  The former CEO of the company was very frequently criticized for leading the company down a very exclusive and noninclusive path.


In an interview, the former CEO Mike Jeffries stated, “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.”


This quote put Jeffries and his companies in hot water and decreased their sales dramatically. The hiring process was also very discriminatory. The physical aspects for being an employee of the brand outweighed the standard prerequisites of an normal job. The new policy also states that there will be a more inclusive and diverse hiring process. Abercrombie and Hollister will now, “…recruit and hire the best associates whose focus will be on offering our customers an excellent in-store shopping experience. We will not tolerate discrimination based on body type or physical attractiveness and will not tolerate discrimination in hiring based on any category protected under the law.”


Due to the controversial topic, there are several theories regarding the brand’s sudden and dramatic change in policy. Most people believe that the sales for the store have monumentally decreased over the years, and this is a final attempt to garner enough attention to raise the sales. The addition of the plus-sized apparel and the new policies are said to entice new consumers.


Melissa Sanchez (9) stated, “The new policy is awesome because the brand has sexualized their models in the past in order to sell their merchandise. It makes me happy that they can no longer hire based on appearance because it gives people more job opportunities and creates a healthy and diverse working environment that their employees can feel comfortable in.”