The fall of Abercrombie and Fitch: White Hot review

Siobhan McGlone, Staff Writer

The documentary “White Hot” was recently released on Netflix on April 19, 2022. The documentary is about the rise and fall of the well-known brand Abercrombie and Fitch and what the brand’s popularity allowed it to do.

The film immediately pulls in with high-energy music and collages based on the iconic ones teens would make in the early 2000s. The viewer learns about the beginnings of Abercrombie & Fitch and what made the brand an icon at the time. Focused on this “All American cool kid,” the brand created the look that also brought a lot of controversies, including discrimination, racism, allegations of sexual assault and fatphobia, to subsequent lawsuits.

Watching the documentary, I thought it was really interesting how such a large and iconic well-known brand during its time was able to get away with so much, including the different major events. The documentary largely goes into how discriminatory the brand Abercrombie & Fitch was and the people that were affected by it.

The film received mixed reviews. Honestly, all you really need to know is how horrible the brand was towards young people at the time. Many said the film was one-sided, but viewers are able to get the story from workers at the brand and the consumers that shopped there.

Throughout the documentary, you get a peek into the rise and fall of an empire, a brand that was in every mall in America. Taking a peek at old modeling shoots and the old stores, using these you’re really able to see the beachy summer vibe of the stores and how the brand was presented.

During the documentary, you follow the starting of the brand and the controversy that would later follow. How former CEO Mike Jeffries treated people in the company and how he acted towards others. The sexual misconduct by photographer Bruce Weber. Racial discrimination and the intense beauty standers toward workers and models that worked for the brand and the many lawsuits soon to follow.

It also goes into the revamped version of Abercrombie and Fitch with the new CEO Fran Horowitz, who “Turned on the lights and turned the music down in the stores” and focused on listening to the customer they have now a broad range of people represented and included in the brand. I would highly recommend taking the time to watch this documentary if you like the fashion industry and what goes on behind the scenes.