A selection of Marina's published articles

These articles have been published in the Economist, Standpoint Magazine, Financial Times, MoneyWeek, the Times Literary Supplement, New York Observer and more

The Economist’s Intelligent Life Magazine: The CEO and the Not-So-Smart-Quote

Sometimes a chief executive must hope that an unwise quote from a while back would just curl up and die. Seven years ago, Mike Jeffries, the CEO of Abercrombie & Fitch, gave a frank interview to Salon explaining what kind of customers he liked in his stores.

“In every school there are the cool and popular kids, and then there are the not-so-cool kids. Candidly, we go after the cool kids. We go after the attractive all-American kid with a great attitude and a lot of friends. A lot of people don’t belong, and they can’t belong. Are we exclusionary? Absolutely.”

Trouble began 13 days ago, when Business Insider ran a piece highlighting the A&F practice of only stocking smaller sizes for women’s clothing—excluding XL or XXL sizes—because they don’t want overweight women to be seen wearing their brand. The article recycled the quote from the Salon interview.

This time round the quote prompted a petition to stop telling teens they aren’t beautiful and to convince A&F to extend their range to plus-sized clothes—it has 20,000 signatures so far. On Monday, the writer and performer Greg Karber released a video on YouTube called “Fitch the Homeless”. It’s had 4m views. Karber asks viewers to donate their A&F clothing to local homeless shelters—a sure way of changing the brand’s image.

But not everyone is happy with this—the seven-year-quote has spawned a thousand others. One commenter below the video says, “Irony is that you are employing the exact same logic/ideology as Jeffries; just for different reasons.” Another says that using homeless people in the video is “demeaning and dehumanising”. But there’s also support for A&F from an unlikely source. An academic from California writes that people who depend on the exclusivity of their clothing to validate their existence are “morons”. He writes, “I applaud A&F for milking these jackasses for 50 bucks a T-shirt.”

Originally published in the Intelligent Life Magazine online, 16 May 2013

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This entry was posted on May 16, 2013 by in Uncategorized and tagged , , , , , .

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In a crowded London shop
An open book and empty cup 

On the marble table-top.
While on the shop and street I gazed

My body of a sudden blazed;
And twenty minutes more or less It seemed, so great my happiness,

That I was blessed and could bless.

- Yeats

Always to shine,
to shine everywhere,
to the very deeps of the last days,
to shine—
and to hell with everything else!
That is my motto—
and the sun’s!

- Mayakovsky

Can it pull extraordinary faces?
Is it usually sick on a swing?
Does it spend all its time at the races,
or fiddling with pieces of string?
Has it views of its own about money?
Does it think patriotism enough?
Are its stories vulgar but funny?
O tell me the truth about love.

- WH Auden

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