Right on the heels of Target deciding to make a gender neutral toy aisle in 2015 and gender neutral room decor, Abercrombie & Fitch has decided to release a gender neutral clothing line called the Everybody Collection. Stacia Anderson, Brand President, said in a statement:
Parents and their kids don’t want to be confined to specific colors and styles, depending on whether shopping for a boy or a girl. Our Everybody Collection is one assortment, in one size run, that covers the trends we are seeing in both color and style.
The clothing line, released through the company's Abercrombie Kids division, will feature 25 styles of tops, bottoms and accessories. The Everybody Collection will be featured in 70 stores that sell Abercrombie Kids' apparel beginning this week.
As hokey as this may sound, I am all for it. As a kid, I hated pinks and purples, and my favorite color still was and is blue, but in the 80s, everything for girls was some floral print or pastel, or otherwise traditionally girly color, and I hated them all, but that's what my parents and everybody else always got for me so if this was even a possibility back then as a kid, I would be 100% behind it.
A lot of parents these days are choosing to decorate their children's bedrooms in more gender neutral colors, or like my brother, not even tell people whether they're having a boy or girl, so you're kind of forced to go gender neutral with the gifts and clothing. The thing about it, is these are all just colors and nothing more. People assign to them that this must be for a boy or must be for a girl, when it's so stupid. If you're worried that your boy or girl will say "turn gay" because he or she wore a pink or blue shirt at 4 years old, before he could even remember it, that's doing a total disservice to how it is people actually come into their sexuality. I've never cited my clothing as the reason I'm straight.
But before I get all rah-rah, we love you Abercrombie & Fitch, you're so dang enlightened in 2018....ummmmmm, I also think this is basically just a marketing ploy cooked up by a company to try and ditch it's continual bad wrap between them and basically anyone who isn't white or sexy enough by their standards. This is a brand that has continually had massive public relations issues by their own doing. They recently lost a court case when the company refused to hire a Muslim woman simply because she wore her Hijab. There have been numerous complaints about the company routinely discriminating against non-white models and several accusations of sexual harassment within the company. They really can't take many more hits, especially in an economy which is seeing the rise and take over of internet commerce and the fall of many brick and mortar stores.
So what better way to do that, then to splash out a new ad, that's all about "listening to the customer," and features models with a few more skin tones, than previous ones. You see, companies don't really listen to customers. They listen to what they think will make them the most money or get them out of a jam. If someone says, hey we're in a jam, how do we get out, let's look at our list of complaints, then boom, here we go, new campaign, positive press, parade some cute kids out, and let's see if sales go up.