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Mike Jeffries, Abercrombie's CEO, bans black garments from work

By VERONICA LINARES, UPI.com   |   July 10, 2013 at 2:52 PM   |   Comments

July 10 (UPI) -- Abercrombie & Fitch CEO Mike Jeffries reportedly banned the color black from the brand over concerns that the hue is too "formal."

An A&F employee confirmed to Business Insider that the brand does not only avoid selling any black garments, but that they also discourage employees from wearing black at all.

"Management will tell people that Mike hates the color, and so we're not supposed to wear it to work," an employee, who chose to remain anonymous, said. "It even applies to coats in the winter."

When reached for comment, the company tried to explain the reasons behind their decision to ban black.

"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."

This isn't the first time Jeffries' controversial rules land him in hot water.

Earlier this year, the CEO faced controversy when he told Business Insider that he didn't "want larger people shopping in his store."

"That’s why we hire good-looking people in our stores," Jeffries told Salon in a 2006 interview. "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."

He later explained that his concept of catering to the cool kids can trace its origin back to basic school interaction.

“In every school there are the cool and popular kids, and then there are the not-so-cool kids,” he told the site. “Candidly, we go after the cool kids. We go after the attractive all-American kid with a great attitude and a lot of friends. A lot of people don’t belong [in our clothes], and they can’t belong. Are we exclusionary? Absolutely."

In late May the company issued a statement apologizing for "any offense caused by comments we have made in the past" and pledging to take "concrete steps to demonstrate our commitment to anti-bullying in addition to our ongoing support of diversity and inclusion."

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