Abercrombie & Fitch continues to receive an avalanche of bad PR this year. The latest example? A former employee dishing on the corporate environment.
From drunken office antics to image-obsessed corporate policies and a need to court controversy, the worker tells Cosmo that it's even worse than you think.
Even at the corporate level, Abercrombie aims to offend consumers, he says.
It was already doing so long before CEO Mike Jeffries slammed fat girls and unleashed a torrent of criticism this year. The former employee explains:
"When The Situation sued us, people were very happy about it."
"It was like, 'Bring it on, this is free advertising.' The shirts are designed to be widely offensive on purpose, to make parents upset and get them to sue the company."
"That buys into [CEO] Mike Jeffries' idea of being cool," he continues, since "what's cooler than something your parents would never want to wear?"
That strategy proved problematic, with A&F recently pulling a shirt that dissed Taylor Swift as well as one that incited protests for its "racist" depiction of Asians.
It's also proven ineffective. Last month, a report indicated that Abercrombie's sales dropped 10 percent this year, with women's sales dropping 30 percent.
The brand has tried to save its deteriorating image by releasing anti-bullying shirts and cheeky online video campaigns, but it may be too little too late.
Certainly feels like it, from some of the backlash that ensued.