Abercrombie & Fitch is under pressure this week from some members of its target demographic: Taylor Swift fans. The company was forced to discontinue a t-shirt emblazoned with “# more boyfriends than t.s.” (a possible reference to the thick portfolio of ex-boyfriends that litter the pop singer’s hits) Buzzfeed reported. Though this wasn’t the first time Swift has been publicly called out for her penchant to go through boys like outfits (note Amy Poehler and Tina Fey’s jab at the Golden Globes), her fans stormed to her defense.
Some 120+ Swift fans have signed a Change.org petition demanding that the company discontinue the shirt, including complaints that the shirt “disrespects the Queen.” One self-proclaimed “Swiftie” recorded a YouTube video in which she called Abercrombie & Fitch to file a complaint, only to be greeted by an automatic voicemail explaining that the shirt had already been discontinued. She left a complaint anyway.
The t-shirt gaffe is really just a small wave in the tsunami of anti-Abercrombie & Fitch sentiments unleashed after comments made by CEO Mike Jeffries in a 2006 Salon article resurfaced in early May.
“In every school there are the cool and popular kids, and then there are the not-so-cool kids,” Jeffries said in the article. “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.”
Though Jeffries later apologized for his comments, it was too little too late to stem the backlash. A Change.org petition created by an eating disorder survivor asked Jeffries to offer plus-sized clothing and eventually garnered 77,543 supporters. Elsewhere, celebrities like Ellen DeGeneres and Kirstie Alley weighed in against the company’s policies. And now, it looks like Taylor Swift fans can also join the ranks of people offended by Abercrombie & Fitch’s antics.