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Abercrombie & Fitch’s story is so controversial, that it sparked a Netflix documentary called White Hot: The Rise & Fall of Abercrombie & Fitch. The company’s story isn’t a new one. However, this documentary sheds some light on this piece of news that needs to be told. The newest Abercrombie & Fitch CEO, Fran Horowitz, delivered a statement on social media. She addressed the Netflix documentary since previous CEO Mike Jeffries’ “retirement,” but reactions are mixed.

‘White Hot: The Rise & Fall of Abercrombie & Fitch’ Netflix documentary reveals the company’s successes and controversies

Netflix documentary 'White Hot_ The Rise & Fall of Abercrombie & Fitch' holding brand bags with a graphic background
‘White Hot: The Rise & Fall of Abercrombie & Fitch’ | Netflix

The new Netflix documentary, White Hot: The Rise & Fall of Abercrombie & Fitch, takes a look at the company’s aesthetic. Customers recognize the brand thanks to the pulsing dance beats within its locations. The strong scent that instantly drew people inside is another symbol. Abercrombie & Fitch set its sights on young people, but with a toxic message. It sought to sell them a style that would promise to make them one of the “cool kids.”

Previous CEO Mike Jeffries took advantage of what was considered the “all-American” image and turned it into a clothing brand. However, that came with problematic marketing and hiring practices that acted out of exclusion. The Abercrombie & Fitch Netflix documentary sheds additional light on that story, also including new interviews.

Abercrombie & Fitch CEO Fran Horowitz responds to ‘White Hot’ Netflix documentary

The new Abercombie & Fitch, Horowitz, took to the company’s Instagram to address the Netflix documentary. Additionally, she took this opportunity to explain how the company changed its priorities and values since Jeffries “retired” in 2014.

“At Abercrombie & Fitch Co., we live by our purpose and show up for our customers, associates and partners on their journeys to being and becoming exactly who they are,” Horowitz wrote.

Horowitz continued: “Our ongoing evolution has been so rewarding, and we want to be clear that the recently released documentary is not reflective of who we are now. We own and validate that there were exclusionary and inappropriate actions under former leadership.”

“Since I became CEO in 2017, we’ve overhauled Abercrombie and transformed with intention into a place of belonging,” Horowitz wrote. “We’ve evolved the organization, including making changes in management, prioritizing representation, implementing new policies, re-envisioning our store experiences and updating the fit, size-range and style of our products.

Horowitz concluded: “We’re focused on inclusivity—and continuing that transformation is our enduring promise to you, our community. Because without you, we wouldn’t be who we are now. Thank you for being on this journey with us.”

Social media reacts to Fran Horowitz


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Instagram users responded to the post, expressing their disappointment in Abercrombie & Fitch for the actions further revealed in the Netflix documentary. White Hot viewers’ comments range from “too little, too late” to congratulating the company, saying “Way to demonstrate accountability, humility, and the impact of positive change in business. Love this brand.”

Others called the brand “tone deaf” and are surprised that the brand is still around after the initial controversy took place. Some previous employees commented that they’re glad that Abercrombie & Fitch made a change for the better.

White Hot: The Rise & Fall of Abercrombie & Fitch is now streaming on Netflix.