DEAR ABERCROMBIE CEO: The Kids Who Bullied Me Wore Your Clothing

colleen radanoColleen Radano

Abercrombie & Fitch’s exclusion of large women hit close to home for Philadelphia-based writer Colleen Radano. 

Radano sent us a letter about how she was bullied by kids who wore Abercrombie in high school. 

Abercrombie has been in the hot seat since Business Insider connected CEO Michael Jeffries’ comments about wanting beautiful people to shop there to the company’s exclusion of clothing sizes for large women.

Abercrombie is standing by its exclusion of large women, even after public protests about the CEO’s attitude. 

We published an abridged version of Radano’s letter. Read the whole thing here.

A Note to Michael Jeffries, CEO, Abercrombie & Fitch.


I write to you in response to the recent media outburst surrounding your unfortunate decision to further declare the exclusions that exist in your soft-core porn clothing store, Abercrombie & Fitch. I read your statements, your comments, your beliefs and I’ve let them sink in for a few weeks. In fact, I initially decided not to respond at all since I have always chosen to not shop at your store anyway. The fact that your store doesn’t make or sell clothing higher than a size 10 or a “L” is actually news to me. I think your store, quite literally, stinks.

Now, I worked at Guest Services inside of my local mall and I had to deal with the customers who complained about the abundance of musky stench that infects the sinuses of each passer-by, but I did not write you then. I heard that you were targeting girls as young as eight years old in your campaigns over the years, sending them your pornographic catalogues and full-knowingly attempting to engage them into becoming sexual, “cool” teens who would shop at your store, but I did not write you then. But when you specifically called out my plus size arse in your latest statements, Mike, I’m ready to write.

You see, I told you, I’m polite to the point where it makes me uncomfortable to just call you “Mike” (but I’m over it). I know I’m polite because I’ve met impolite people (this is you). I think back to high school, where I attended a “well-off” private, Catholic, college preparatory school. I think of the kids who, when they weren’t wearing a uniform, sported your clothing. I regret to inform you that “cool” doesn’t exactly come to mind, but “expulsion”, “bully”, “pretzel thrown at me at lunch”, and “harassment” actually do. They were ALL on the football team and I bet you, Mike, find them to be cool. 

You see, it was the kids wearing your clothing who thought they were so unstoppably “cool” (because you told them they are) that they could therefore harass girls all throughout our class– girls of all different shapes and sizes. They thought they could write derogatory comments across one girl’s driveway at home, and they were expelled. They thought that they could call the girls at home at night, plaguing them with hurtful words and hysterical laughter, and they were suspended. 

I’m 27 years old, Mike, and I received a social media message from one of these bullies just last year, with a wink face… that’s it, just a wink face. It was a cruel reminder, a hurtful flashback.. a wink is all it takes to tell me, almost 10 YEARS after high-school graduation and the last time we saw each other, that he still is teasing me, he is still mean, he is still a bully, he is still SO COOL, and he wanted me to know.

When I re-visited your outrageous commentary today, I discovered the long list of rules that you require that your private jet flight attendants fulfil.

I can’t say I won’t buy your products because, as I’ve said, I never did and, secondly, you’ve excluded me from being able to do so anyway. I know there is currently a young all-American man who is clothing the homeless by donating his A&F clothes because your claims sicken him too, Mike. I know there are a bunch of mums, fully disregarding the former money spent on your clothing, rallying up mounds of their kids’ clothes that display your A&F tags, and ridding of them. 

And I’ve got news for you, Mike… in the world, girls with huge hooters are INCREDIBLY cool, and they may require an “XL”.

Get with it,

Colleen Radano.

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