Abercrombie & Fitch has had its fair share of controversies over the years–masturbating models, over-the-top sexy ad campaigns, and trying to take over Savile Row (to name but a few). But today some information has come to light that is really bizarre. Turns out that Abercrombie’s CEO, Michael Jeffries, has some pretty, um, odd and specific rules for his private jet employees, according to Bloomberg.
The rules come from a 40+-page flight manual, which is being used as evidence in a discrimination lawsuit filed by a pilot who used to fly Jeffries’ private plane, and who alleges he was fired and replaced by a younger man. Here’s a sampling of some of the rules on Air Abercrombie:
• Standard uniform for plane employees and Jeffries’ house employees: Abercrombie polo shirts and jeans, boxer briefs (erm, how do they know they’re wearing boxer briefs or not?) and a spritz of the retailer’s cologne.
•Flip flops are “mandatory in flight and when greeting passengers.” (Are flip flops FAA regulation footwear?)
• So their toes may be chilly, but once temps hit 50 or below, the crew can wear coats–with the collar flipped.
• Crew wears black gloves when handling silverware and white gloves to lay the table.
• The song “Take Me Home” had to be played when passengers were boarding for return flights.
• Jeffries’ dogs Ruby, Trouble and Sammy had special seating arrangements.
• Toilet paper rule: “Do not expose the toilet paper and do not fold the end square.”
• How to address Jeffries and his guests while in-flight: “When Michael, Matthew [Smith, Jeffries' live-in partner], or a guest make a request, respond by saying ‘No Problem.’ This should be used in place of phrases like, ‘Sure’ or, ‘Just a minute.’”
This information is all coming out at a time when investors aren’t too thrilled with Jeffries: Abercrombie’s stock has lost half its value in the past year, and there are rumblings of a takeover, according to Bloomberg. Apparently one private-equity firm who was interested in a takeover balked because of concerns over Jeffries’ leadership. And to buy him out would cost about $100 million apparently.
So in the meantime, everyone will continue to spritz a healthy dose of Abercrombie cologne on and tell him, “No problem.”