A woman on TikTok who identified herself as a former Abercrombie & Fitch store employee claimed that the allegations in a recent Netflix documentary on the brand, White Hot: The Rise & Fall of Abercrombie & Fitch, were entirely true.
Some of the accusations against Abercrombie featured in White Hot included allegations that the brand fostered a discriminatory, racist and fatphobic environment for employees and shoppers.
Benjamin O’Keefe, an activist featured heavily throughout the documentary, summarized the argument against the brand as: “Exclusion is part of our society.”
Kirby Mansour (@kirbymansour) said she worked at the chain as a manager in the 2010s. When White Hot premiered on Netflix on April 19, she said she watched it and then took to TikTok to both comment on what the documentary alleges about the brand and to claim that it left some things she experienced out.
“Every single thing on that documentary was not only true … they left some parts out,” Mansour said in the first video. “You guys would freak out if you knew the s*** that they made us do.”
“The craziest thing when I first started working there was the hiring process [which was] only hiring ‘good-looking people,’” Mansour said in another TikTok. “If you’re ‘good-looking enough’ to get hired, you either get put in the back as ‘impact’ or on the floor as [a] ‘model.’”
In The Know reached out to a spokesperson from Abercrombie & Fitch who explained that since 2015, the brand has been “overhauled” so that “inclusivity is woven throughout.”
Mansour went on to claim that certain people got more scheduling time and that upper management — specifically former CEO Mike Jeffries — was very strict about certain rules, like who was allowed to be in the front.
In fact, Mansour alleged that the reason why people who worked in the front were referred to internally as “models” was then management could be very particular about how they looked and dressed.
“You were to have no facial hair at all, makeup very minimal — I remember them being like, ‘Tell them you want them to look like they just got off the beach,’” she claimed. “They were so focused on all the wrong things, it would blow my mind.”
The Abercrombie & Fitch representative told In The Know that “the store look policy” has been removed.
In response to White Hot premiering, current Abercrombie & Fitch CEO Fran Horowitz shared a note on social media about the brand pledging to “focus on inclusivity.”
“Since I became CEO in 2017, we’ve overhauled Abercrombie and transformed with intention into a place of belonging,” Horowitz wrote on Abercrombie’s Instagram. “We own and validate that there were exclusionary and inappropriate actions under former leadership.”
“Our culture today encourages open dialogue and ensures that all associates have equal opportunities to excel,” the Abercrombie rep told In The Know. “We have received numerous accolades related to our workplace environment including Forbes’ Best Employers for Women, Forbes’ Best Employers for Diversity and a Great Place to Work™ certification.”
In fact, Mansour ultimately didn’t seem to have very hard feelings against the brand on TikTok.
“This was 10-plus years ago, all the stories that I have — Abercrombie is completely different now,” she said. “I really think it’s a great company now. It’s just, back then … there were just some really mind-blowing things [happening].”
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