Greg Karber's now-viral YouTube video shows the LA filmmaker handing out a piece of Abercrombie & Fitch clothing to men and women on East LA's skid row. His protest was inspired by the company s CEO who said he refuses to stock large or extra-large sizes in an attempt to ensure only "thin and beautiful people" wear his clothes. Robert Kovacik reports for the NBC4 News at 11 p.m. on May 14, 2013.
A Los Angeles filmmaker is on a mission to clothe the homeless population in Abercrombie & Fitch apparel, inspired by the Abercrombie CEO's comments that he refuses to stock large or extra-large sizes in an attempt to ensure only "thin and beautiful people" don his clothes.
In a video that has garnered more than 213,000 views and counting, Greg Karber buys Abercrombie clothes at a thrift shop and drives to East Los Angeles to visit skid row.
The tongue-in-cheek video (embedded below) shows smiling Angelenos in one of the Southland's poorest areas receiving clothes made by a company whose leader prides himself on promoting an exclusive brand.
“Candidly, we go after the cool kids. We go after the attractive all-American kid with a great attitude and a lot of friends,” CEO Mike Jeffries told Salon in 2006. “A lot of people don’t belong [in our clothes], and they can’t belong. Are we exclusionary? Absolutely."
That 2006 interview was given new life earlier this month when an article by Business Insider pointed to Abercrombie's lack of so-called plus-sized clothing for women even as its competitors, like H&M, are including plus-sized models in their catalogues. The piece cites an author and retail expert who said those sizes could tarnish the image Jeffries' told Salon he's trying to create.
Karber called Jeffries' comments "despicable," and remembered the moment he was inspired to take that outrage further.
“Someone posted, somewhere on the Internet, that, ‘Don’t worry, karma would catch up to this guy,’” he recalled. “I just thought, ‘That was so silly. He was one of the largest retail CEOs … Karma’s never gonna catch up to this guy. But maybe I can do something to make karma catch up to him."
At the end of his video, Karber calls on his viewers to help him in his quest to “rebrand” the preppy clothing line by giving away their Abercrombie and Fitch clothes, and their friends’ Abercrombie and Fitch clothes, and their neighbors’ Abercrombie and Fitch clothes to a homeless shelter.
The hashtag #FitchTheHomeless, started by Karber, has ben retweeted thousands of times.