Netflix to Spill the Tea on Abercrombie & Fitch

Peral Simons Fashion /
Abercrombie, Fitch, Fashion, Netflix
Justin Sullivan via Getty Images

Back in 2008, Abercrombie and Fitch were at their peak. Teenagers all over the world were doing whatever they could to get their hands on the latest logo tee. Not only that, but they apparently offered the ultimate shopping experience, which involved walking into a darkly lit store, being welcomed by shirtless muscled men, loud music, and an overwhelming smell of their signature cologne. Cut to 2015, and the brand is allegedly broke, no longer the sights of everyone's desires. So what went so wrong? A new Netflix documentary is here to pull back the curtain on the very questionable practices behind the former fashion giant...

White Hot: The Rise & Fall of Abercrombie & Fitch follows the rise of the clothing brand from the late '90s to the early 2000s. The highly anticipated documentary reveals the exclusionary marketing and discriminatory hiring methods carried out by the company to maintain their all-American image, which they prided themselves on so greatly. Eventually, this would be the source of their downfall as it began to stir major controversy.

The film, which was released this week with the caption "selling exclusivity comes at a price," was directed and produced by Alison Klayman and will include tell-all interviews with many former A&F employees, executives, and models. As Netflix noted in their release, the brand was "selling a potent mix of sex and wholesomeness." CEO Mike Jeffries wasn't ashamed to admit that their clothes were not for everyone and was heavily criticized for his focus on the "young, thin, and white." In a famous interview, he said, "We go after the cool kids. If they didn't look a certain way, they didn't belong in our clothing. Are we exclusionary? Absolutely."

Abercrombie, Fitch, Documentary, Netflix
SIMIN WANG/AFP via Getty Images

"Exclusion was the root of their success," an interviewee in the trailer says. "Abercrombie rooted themselves in discrimination at every single level. There's a reason people liked that brand. Exclusion is part of our society." This approach proved successful until they started firing people based on their appearance alone, and it all seemed to have gone too far. After a 2004 discrimination lawsuit, they claimed to have changed their employment policy. However, as shown in the film, when a similar case made it to the Supreme Court in 2009, it was the start of their public downfall. Check it out on Netflix now!