documentary hack

White Hot: The Rise & Fall of Abercrombie & Fitch

Alison Klayman

5 mins

3 key insights

Visual, audio & text

This Netflix documentary exposes the racist and exclusionary practices of Abercrombie & Fitch, the hottest clothing brand at the turn of the millennium.


White Hot: The Rise & Fall of Abercrombie & Fitch

White Hot: The Rise & Fall of Abercrombie & Fitch

by Alison Klayman


In the early 2000s, Abercrombie & Fitch was doing their best to separate the cool kids from the losers. With a corporate culture of toxic masculinity blended with abuse allegations and overt racism, the brand was doomed to fail in an age of growing conscious consumerism, but that didn't stop executives from cashing in on cruelty while they could.

White Hot: The Rise & Fall of Abercrombie & Fitch is a 2022 Netflix documentary from award-winning director Alison Klayman that showcases interviews with fashion experts, former Abercrombie recruiters, magazine editors, and models. White Hot dives into how Abercrombie & Fitch went from a failing outdoor equipment retailer to one of the hottest brands in history, then back to the bargain rack.

Favorite quote

The fundamental idea is that fashion is selling us belonging, confidence, cool, sex appeal. In many ways the very last thing that it's selling is actually garments.

- Robin Givhan, fashion editor, The Washington Post

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