If you thought American Apparel’s employee dress code was strict, you should check out Abercrombie & Fitch's. The purveyor of branded polos and noxious scents are guilty of putting some equally peculiar sanctions on its workers’ appearance.
The “look policy” BuzzFeed obtained stressed that earring shape must be in good taste and that belly button rings are not allowed. (I don’t remember Abercrombie being big on crop tops, but maybe this is directed to the half-naked zinc models standing outside.)
Anyway, it’s the “no hats” part that has had the retailer wind up in the news. Samantha Elauf, who was 17 when she interviewed in a hijab for a sales role in 2008, had her case heard in court yesterday. The decision rests on Title VII of the Civil Rights Act, which makes it illegal to “fail or refuse to hire or to discharge any individual . . . because of such individual’s race, color, religion, sex, or national origin.” Abercrombie claims it was Elauf’s responsibility to explicitly bring this up at the time of her interview — even if she didn’t know of the company policy.
Regardless of the decision, Abercrombie’s suggestion that religious women can’t be cool is NAGL for a brand who’s body-shaming strain of sexed-up Ivy League whiteness is seriously alienating its customers. Abercrombie is falling out of fashion, and its own ancient idea of what’s cool is definitely partly to blame. Just contrast the retailer’s increasingly lackluster sales with Elauf’s own vivacious Instagram account:
Here are seven other hijab or headscarf-wearing women who are way more relevant than Mike Jeffries.
Besides having a great Instagram name — sobi1canobi — Masood also has fairly banging taste in clothes, none of which are purchased from Abercrombie.
Our girl Naballah, an Islam-born communications major, is an explosion of acid-trip colors and good-taste earring shapes.
Alnas and Azba are cousins living in California and Arizona, respectively. One wears a hijab and one doesn’t, and they’re both equally awesome.
Nabiila is a fashion student and hijabi YouTube guru who achieves maximum slayage when paired with friends.
Headscarf and Reed Krakoff, because #YOLO.
Fahima of Modern Majesty
Bonus points for the Maya Angelou quote.
Farah would probably be a hit at American Apparel, but hey, that’s not her fault.
Reprinted with permission from Styleite. Want more? Check out these related stories: