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09 August 2005



Uh, you realize that the majority of all "black" Americans are mixed-raced? Martin Luther King, Jr. mixed. Malcolm X. mixed. Booker T. Washington, mixed. Thurgood Marshall, mixed. Will Smith, mixed. Joe Louis, mixed. Gordon Parks, mixed.

As for the black or Dominican or Cuban. Hello! The majority of Dominicans and Cubans have black ancestry. Check out the CIA Factbook.

The only "pure" black Americans are the recent emigres. Most of the DNA studies performed on the ancestry of African American males show that nearly 40% of have European male forefathers (the Y chromosome that's handed down from father to son; it's what proved that Jefferson fathered children with Sally Hemmings).

That said, A&F could do a better job of showing all hues of African Americans. However, it's BS to play a game of racial purity with an admixed population like "black" Americans who as a rule have African, Native American, and Caucasian ancestors. Why else do you suppose it's so common for the same two parents to have kids with each other who are all of different skin tones?

Do you really think there are many West Africans who look like ICE Cube (carmel skin) or ICE T (yellow skin) or Denzel (brown skin with Caucasian/Native American features) or Queen Latifah or Jay-Z, or Michael Jordon, etc., etc.

By the same token, just because someone has darker skin says nothing about his/her genetic heritage. Again, look at Jeb Bush and his wife. Jeb is "white." His wife is a fair skinned Mexican but their son George P. Bush is BROWN. Why? Genetic roulette, baby.

Turn on the God awful Maury Povich and watch all the dark skinned brothers telling their girlfriends that baby isn't his because it's too light or looks white or has blue eyes. Oops! DNA proves it's his all right.

Sorry to go off like this. But, I get tired of this light skin/dark skin crap.

"Black" Americans are mixed-race. (There's a really interesting study of Black Britons who immigrated from Jamaica; again 30 to 40% of all "black" males carried Y-chromosomes from a European male ancestor.)

So, in closing, A&F should do a better job of representing all "black" people; but "we" need to flush the racist perspective of our genetic heritage. African Americans, like Dominicans, Cubans, and other people from the Americas, are children of Africa, Europe, and Indigenous America.


I love the lightskin look. It's back and stronger than ever. Racial ambiguity is cool.


The issue isn't whether or not mixed-race people are really "black", but whether using the whitest-looking black models really adds any diversity to the ultra-white A&F catalog.

In my humble opinion, it don't.


I have always been a bit queasy about Abercrombie & Fitch campaigns. I like pretty white boys up to a point, but Bruce Weber and his loving ode to Hitler youth leave me cold.

As the poster stated above, we are all mixed people, but America has never recognized the the subtle degrees of racial identity. Throwing in a few ken and barbies dipped in caramel goes down a lot easier than an Alek Wek, whose beauty is truly stunning.

ziggy - yeah, stardust!

A true-blue Aryan, mostly from around the eastern and southern-eastern parts of Europe, would poo-poo your desription of A&F as 'the Aryan obsessed retailer'.

If anything, this new lot looks more like the real thing.


This new ad campaign is embarrassing, and I would say it's not because of the pictures or the models, but because of the text! It sounds like lip service. Just give us the boys and the girls and the clothes - save the plattitudes, A&F. And why is the tan-skinned cutie on the "A&F Careers" page half naked? As if to say: People of color wanted - as models.

jojo mijala

A&F clothes are not popular in the Middle East because of the way the company come out with its ad - blond, green or blue-eyed models. The company thinks that Aryans are the only thing that matters in the world.I for do not buy A& clothes because they are racist and color-prejudiced.


You would think that all the United Kingdom staffers at A&F headquarters in Columbus, Ohio would have said something about their company bias image. I guess this season they told Bruce Weber(photographer) that black is the new white.


that is a joke. I was really interested in the first comment though. but who still wears abe n fitch anyways? ummm hello hollister!.. ha


Interesting. My teenaged daughter (Hispanic) was at the mall last weekend and was offered a sales clerk job at Abercrombie on the spot while she was buying something. She was amazed! They didn't even ask her experience or qualifications. But the friend she was with (Caucasian) was not invited to apply.

Joe Mama

The mixed light skin look works for Derek Jeter of the NY Yankees. So why can't it work for the rest of us?


Derek Jeter was born with that skin, it's not like he ordered it from central casting. But apparently, that's how A&F execs are choosing models.

Regarding the first comment: Whenever there is any mention of skin color, you come out of the woodwork and pontificate. You're also confusing "light complexion" with "mixed." My mother and brother are very light skinned, but are hardly "mixed." Many blacks consider themselves "mixed" in an effort to discount being black. Almost any of us can claim Indian or white ancestry; my maternal great-grandmother was half Cherokee, and my paternal great-grandfather was half- or full-Seminole, not sure which. So ... are we mixed? Give it a rest.


It's funny how people take things so differently. I read your posting and agreed with you %200. To comment to Jak, the first opinion following this post, Ihave to say that you are absolutely correct.... As a complete level of understanding any "black" American is indeed mixed of many things. But we are Still black Americans, and inspite of who's great grandmother was white of native american, we are still "black" americans. We still are discriminated against based on the color of our skin. Todays efforts of diversity is yesterdays seperation of house negro(light) field negro(dark). As blacks we all experience closeted racsim to some extent, but it is a well known fact that in the majority of the world, lighter skinned blacks get better treatment, or more acceptable should I say, than our darker counterparts. Is it fair...no, is it true....YES. And by applauding the efforts of companys such as A&F for their efforts to diversify(although completely admirable I'm sure) without addressing the absence of true diversity, the we are only perpetuating this type of behavior. Ultimately ending in an advanced state of modern day discrimination for darker skinned blacks. Maybe a little dramatic on my thought. Think about it for a second though..... If the world is moveing more towards a much higher percentage of an "OBVIOUS" multi-racial society, blending everyone into the wonderful tone of..... O wait, what is that color called anyway. Lets just refer to it as the grey America(sorry :-)). Then for the genuinely "dark" black americans the world will be a less nicer place, because they wont fit into the America of tomorrow.... Because it's ineveitable that genetically one day a little bundle of joy will come out severly black, and his two "mutli" parents will be shocked and dismayed at their childs appearance. Sorry for getting carried away.

Just my insight, and reflection of boredom.


FYI Jak- your information is outdated... there's no way that DNA can tell you how much of a "race" someone is, because race is a social/cultural construction.

Gene tests prove that we are all the same under the skin


i think it's hot to see a semi-naked asian guy



honestly now, people really need to get a life. who cares if A&F isn't diversified. you don't like it? don't spend your money there. i haven't seen one person bring up a typically "black" clothing line. let's take Rocawear for example. go to www.rocawear.com and you tell me, can you find even ONE caucasian?


I found one. She's on the back drop. I only support business that have a rainbow of people used in their advertisements. What about all the other typically "white" clothing lines. Most of them do not have blacks represnted. It should not be that way in america. And it is a very important issue. You always want to go where you feel you belong. We do exist as rainbow shades of black and it needs to be seen!


I usually don't leave comments on blogs; however when someone asked if Rocawear has any members of other races in their ad campaigns; they infact do. Victoria Beckham was featured in many a Rocawear AD campaign.

Eric Jones

As for A&F ad campaign, surely they jest. I find it completely offensive to pimp a few extremely light skinned, racially unidentifiable, models in their ads. The ad is pandering to the same tired myth, that you are only attractive if you are thin and light. As a stylish, proud, large, dark skinned, handsome, black man A&F, will NEVER see a penny of my money! I will stick to black owned clothiers or at the very least clothiers which feature unmistakable, DARK skinned black models.


A&F never, ever wanted to include minorities in their line up. Then all of a sudden despite this you found a lot of "unimformed dark minorities" trying to wear their clothing as a new fashion trend. And looking rather "odd" (being very diplomatic). Then after all of the lawsuits, I agree, A&F uses the paper bag test and finally uses a light skinned minority. But where are his posters? Have you noticed? THEY ARE AT THE BACK OF THE BUS IN ALL OF THEIR STORES! The blond haired, blue eyed model still rains supreme at the front entrance. I to was shocked when I entered a A&F store in "The Mall of Georgia" (Not to buy but just to be nosey, trust me!), and found, count-em' two black & gay salesmen people there. If it took lawsuits to get a company to change its policy, all the ad changes in the world won't make me purchase their trash. Remember folks, the changes are token. Just because you slap lipstick on a pig, doesn't make it pretty!


Not bad on the A&F ads but I would like to see faces of UNdoubtably black people.


Vote with your pocketbook. Ask your parents or grandparents about retail shopping in their day. A&F does not deserve the money of people of color and only because their profits have dwindled are they starting this campaign.


Abercrombie....THE BEST


La verdad Abercrombie&Fitch es una marca super padre, la ropa es muy juvenil, pero me molesta que gente como ustedes, son tan ardidos que siempre buscan un pretexto para que tenga mala fama y la verdad no ganan nada, osea nadie les hace caso. Si no tienen dienero para pagar la ropa un poco cara, simplemente no la compren. Mejor comprense una vida y dediquense a cosas de su nivel, osea BAJO...

Saludos Mediocres

Jose Ambrosy

"La verdad Abercrombie&Fitch es una marca super padre, la ropa es muy juvenil, pero me molesta que gente como ustedes, son tan ardidos que siempre buscan un pretexto para que tenga mala fama y la verdad no ganan nada, osea nadie les hace caso. Si no tienen dienero para pagar la ropa un poco cara, simplemente no la compren. Mejor comprense una vida y dediquense a cosas de su nivel, osea BAJO...

Saludos Mediocres"

Absolutely true. Absolutamente cierto...

A&F can have 100% white models for all I care...I love and purchase the clothing. A&F is trying to convey an image, and if their image is slim, hot, sexy white models then thats the end of that. They're not going to ruin their imga by hiring someone that does not meet their image criteria in order to have their casual luxusy status.

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