Entertainment

‘I worked at Abercrombie and Fitch – one boss told me I wasn’t good at photography’

To exclude, to expel:

Kaitlyn Fisher worked for the American chain for three years while attending college in the US and had a strict set of rules she had to follow. One boss told her not to ‘take good photos’

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Kaitlyn (far right) works at A&F

It seemed like the coolest place on the high street – but little did we know what was going on.

During the early decade of the decade, Abercrombie & Fitch was clearly not a traditional workplace – it didn’t hire staff, but ‘models’, and the people running the club were pumped out all the time.

The American chain has been hugely popular here – with a flagship store in London’s Savile Row proving how successful it is.

But the all-American chain’s enormous success dwindled in the mid-2010s – when it faced accusations of racist and sexist conduct, which A&F claims has since change.

Netflix’s new documentary White Hot: The Rise And Fall Of Abercrombie & Fitch looks at culture.

An employee at the London branch said she knew ‘something was wrong’ when asked to dance.

Journalist Olivia Petter wrote in Time : “But before I could protest (my hips were as stiff as a plank) there I was, on the balcony facing the stage, swinging my arms and legs as I stood next to a stupidly handsome 21-year-old man which I have never met before..

“For two hours I worked there – that’s my job too.”

She testified that a manager asked her to leave soon after returning with sunburned arms, which they said “she has leprosy.”

She added: “My former manager, whom I contacted for this piece, told me that she had to rank employees for looks, personality, and aspirations. Those who scored poorly. will be for the least shift or right down position with less visibility.

“The top scorers are lined up in front of the store, posing as a topless male model or a ‘camera girl’ taking pictures of them with customers.”

Mirror spoke to an employee at the US chain – and gave insight into the strict rules employees face.

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Netflix says US chain ‘thrives when excluded’
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Picture:

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Most employees are said to be hired on the basis of their looks, with some attractive people managed to keep an eye on during their visits.

A brutal hiring and firing policy leads managers to allegedly rank employees by how great they are considered to be – and your sales don’t matter, according to the Netflix show.

The employee guidelines encourage employees to look “natural,” “classic,” and “American,” along with a need for clothing and even underwear (must “fit.”)

It also describes what hairstyles are acceptable – with neat combs approved, while ruffles are not.

Kaitlyn Fisher, 30, worked as a greeter – who helped photograph customers with topless models – as well as a store floor worker from 2011 to 2013, at a store in Asheville, North Caroline .

She said: “” Seeing a trailer brings flashbacks.

“I remember going to orientation and watching videos about ‘the Abercrombie brand.’ I remember they told us they wanted everyone to look all-American.”

“I’ve never worn makeup anyway. During that time, the only thing I would wear on would probably be some foundation like powder and mascara and that’s fine.

“I walked in with eyeshadow one day and then I remember one of my managers came up to me to wash my face.

“I had to go to the bathroom and wash my face. There were similar rules for hair – I wasn’t allowed to dye my hair the entire time I worked there.

“I got stabbed through my ear and they said I had to get it out. It’s all contained in a book called The Triple-A Guide, which details approved hairstyles, along with hairstyles that don’t exist.”

Employees have approved outfits they can wear on the store floor – and the looks will change every three months. You get 50% off two t-shirts, one bottom, and one pair of shoes.

Before area managers visit, staff will work hard to make sure the store looks its best – with one manager once alleging that Kaitlyn ‘stopped eating’ early after she worked since 8 a.m. to 2 p.m. to help get ready.

Kaitlyn was chosen to be her store greeter – with all photos of employees submitted to the company, with a select few being models.

This meant she made an extra $100 for the shift – but her area manager told her she barely got picked “because she didn’t take good pictures.”

She stated, “He never met me in person and said that I don’t take good pictures. Then he came to see me and I had to do it.”

But more impressively, the 30-year-old remembers her little shop as a people-friendly place – with an Abercrombie spokesperson emphasizing how the chain has changed.

Abercrombie and Fitch . CEO Fran Horowitz “At Abercrombie & Fitch Co., we live our purpose and act out for our customers, associates and partners on their journey to becoming and being exactly who they are,” said.

“Our ongoing development is commendable and we want to make it clear that the recently released documentary is not a reflection of who we are now.

“We own and confirm that there were exclusionary and inappropriate actions under previous leadership.

“Since I became CEO in 2017, we have overhauled Abercrombie and transformed it with the intention of being a place to belong.

“We’ve grown the organization, including making management changes, prioritizing representation, implementing new policies, reimagining our store experience, and updating information, coverage size and style of our products.

“We’re focused on inclusivity — and continuing that transformation is our enduring promise to you, to our community. Because without you, we wouldn’t be where we are today. Thank you for accompanying us.

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https://www.mirror.co.uk/tv/tv-news/i-worked-abercrombie-fitch-boss-26793872 'I worked at Abercrombie and Fitch - one boss told me I wasn't good at photography'

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