Friday, May 10, 2013

Hey, Mr. Jeffries. We're exclusionary, too.

   It was a jubilant day in my life when the local Abercrombie and Fitch closed in August, 2007.  The store stood between the newsroom and my favorite coffee shop. I had no choice but to pass it in order to get my morning caffeine fix. The problem wasn't just the offensive 12-foot high posters of naked models in the windows or the bad disco music pulsing at top volume through the open doors. It was the smell. The overpoweringly thick fragrance of the house cologne, "Fierce," which wafted into the air and hung over the sidewalks. Apparently, the staff was trained to spray the stuff over the merchandise several times a day to create "a sexy shopping experience." Believe me, Fierce had staying power! Mix in a dose of sultry Kansas summer air and you had a recipe for nausea.
    That was a year-and-a-half after Salon published this story about Michael Jeffries, the freakish and deluded owner of A&F, in which he made the infamous statements that are making the rounds on Facebook again this week:
  Let's take a look at Michael Jeffries who is now 68 years old....
For a blond surfer boy type, not a wrinkle on him. Cool, huh?
He was 61 when this shot was taken....
Bleached blond and sprayed tan. Even cooler!
    Not convinced the guy's a shallow hot mess?  Read this.
    I guess my poor little town didn't have enough cool kids to keep A&F in business back in 2007. Or, maybe people over Size 10 kept insisting on shopping there, who knows? Some mourned the loss of the store as a huge loss for Downtown Lawrence. Not me. I was glad to see it go. 
   The old adage always seems to prove true, especially with studied coolness: Less is more.


A Fan said...

When wealth, power and priveledge moves to delusion, tryanny and cruel elitist behavior -- it can be really pathetic. Mr. Jeffries' decades of a closeted life, self loathing and denial has taken its toll. A successful and wealthy business man -- certainly. But, what does he see when he looks in the mirror? Obviously not what we do. Sad. But, I'm sure he doesn't care what we think.

Cathy Hamilton said...

Very well put.