'Black models were sent home early': Abercrombie and Fitch model talks racism she witnessed
An unidentified female staffer at Abercrombie and Fitch has come forward with some alleged details of racism and sexual harassment.
She detailed her experience working at the clothing retailer in an essay for xoJane.
The staffer, whose identity remains secret and who still works a few shifts at the retail store, was hired on as a “model” or part-time sales staff by two male models who said she had the right “look.” But soon, she saw just what her “great look” really meant.
The employee wrote that she works at one of the company’s “flagship” stores, so former CEO Mike Jeffries would visit frequently.
“When he did visit, managers went out of their way to ensure that the models on the floor were the cream of the crop,” she wrote of a visit from Jeffries. “Unfortunately, this usually meant the thinnest, tallest, and whitest models.”
Jeffries apparently visited the store often, and because of the frequency of his visits, the employee was able to see up-close the kind of racism perpetuated by the store. “On one particularly horrifying instance, most of the black models were sent home an hour early before their shifts ended and before Jeffries was scheduled to visit,” she recalled.
In addition to the discrimination she witnessed, the staffer said that she was also subjected to sexual harassment, especially from store patrons. She claimed she was required to wear “cheeky low rise shorts” or “miniskirts” and that at one point, she was followed by a group of male patrons who commented on her “nice a**.”
“I grew to hate coming in to work,” she explained. “What was once a fun, easygoing part-time job now made my stomach churn as I reluctantly squeezed into my uniform of short shorts and low-cut tops.”
In regards to the recent allegations Michael Scheiner, a spokesperson for the brand, told Daily Mail Online:
Abercrombie and Fitch has a longstanding commitment to diversity and inclusion. We take any allegations of this nature very seriously, and are investigating this matter.