Mike Jeffries, CEO of Abercrombie & Fitch, despises the color black, according to a report.
The retailer told Business Insider that it does not sell black clothing and it discourages employees at its headquarters in Columbus, Ohio, from wearing the color into work.
“Management will tell people that Mike hates the color, and so we’re not supposed to wear it to work,” an employee told the website.
The employee, who asked not to be named, added: “It even applies to coats in the winter.”
The company also confirmed to the website that “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.”
Jeffries, who is no stranger to controversy, apologized in May after making comments that his company only caters to “thin and beautiful people.” Robin Lewis, who helped author a book for Jeffries, said originally that “he doesn’t want his core customers to see people who aren’t as hot as them wearing his clothing. People who wear his clothing should feel like they’re one of the ‘cool kids.’”
In one of the rare interviews he has given, Jeffries in 2006 told Salon.com that “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.”
Jeffries also was sued last year by a former corporate jet pilot, with a lawsuit outlining the CEO’s meticulous attention to detail. All staff on board the Gulfstream G550 jet have to wear Abercrombie polo shirts, flip-flops, boxer briefs, and have to constantly “spritz” the company’s cologne.