Mike Jeffries, CEO: Color Black Not Allowed at Work or on Racks

Image: Mike Jeffries, CEO: Color Black Not Allowed at Work or on Racks

Wednesday, 10 Jul 2013 02:25 PM

By Teresa Meek

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Controversial and outspoken Mike Jeffries, CEO of the clothing chain Abercrombie & Fitch, has forbidden employees to wear the color black to the company’s corporate headquarters in Columbus, Ohio, because he hates the color himself, Business Insider reports.

The retailer has also eliminated black from its clothing stock.

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"Abercrombie & Fitch does not sell black clothing and discourages wearing it at our home office and in our stores, because we are a casual lifestyle brand and feel black clothing is formal. We have nothing against black clothing and feel it is perfectly appropriate for things like tuxedos,” the company said in a statement to Business Insider.

The darkest shade employees are allowed to wear is navy blue, and that includes hats and head coverings, The Daily Mail reports.

A Muslim woman sued the company in 2009, saying she wasn’t hired because wore a black head scarf and sandals to her job interview, the Mail reported.

Jeffries has found himself in hot water in the past for banning XL and XXL sizes.

“Mike Jeffries is ruining his brand because of his own body issues and hang ups. He is clearly very unwell — just look at what he has done to himself,” commented one reader on the Daily Mail site, likely referring to Jeffries' apparent plastic surgery.

Jeffries’ comments over the years have stirred up so much controversy that About.com created a special retail industry page just to display his quotes. Among them:

“We hire good-looking people in our stores. Because good-looking people attract other good-looking people, and we want to market to cool, good-looking people. We don't market to anyone other than that.”

"Listen, do we go too far sometimes? Absolutely. But we push the envelope, and we try to be funny, and we try to stay authentic and relevant to our target customer. I really don't care what anyone other than our target customer thinks."

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Related stories:

Abercrombie & Fitch Apologizes After Backlash From Mike Jeffries' Comments

Abercrombie & Fitch: Homeless in LA Dressed To Protest Brand (Video)

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