Let's be honest—the fashion industry is a tough one.
With retail businesses vying for prime attention in a crowded market, the product and craftsmanship is just as important as the strategic branding and marketing messages delivered to the public.
And as savvy consumers today, we certainly have our go-to stores that never let us down. From reliable pieces that deliver the perfect fit and fabrication, to the go-to items that seamlessly resonate with our lifestyles and budgets, shopping options are vast and plentiful for the most part.
That is, until any one of our beloved brands sends out less than warm and fuzzy vibes to the loyal consumers who would so like to support them.
Remember those discriminatory messages from Abercrombie & Fitch a few short months ago?
Or the sheer fabric frenzy at Lululemon? (Not to mention their refusal to expand their size range to appeal to different body types.)
Something just doesn't sit right with us!
Check out the top fashion scandals of the year that rocked the retail world and caused consumers to feel angry and upset.
1. Lululemon: First there was the sheer yoga pants disaster, where throngs of women showed up to their workout classes in their pricey yoga pants showing off a bit more than they had anticipated. While the athletic wear company did smooth it over by issuing a public apology and offering customer refunds, they're now taking some heat for discriminating against plus-size customers. Other outlets including MSN report that the fancy fitness chain offers an abundance of stylish options for slim figures, but doesn't stock sizes beyond 10 or 12 on their sales floors, inspiring an outrage from curvier consumers who still want to get their sweat on. Sounds like size discrimination to us!
2. Abercrombie & Fitch: CEO Mike Jeffries came under fire back in May when Author Robin Lewis claimed Jeffries didn't want fat customers shopping in his stores. Lewis cited an interivew Jeffries gave to Salon, in which the CEO was quoted as saying: "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 [in our clothes], and they can't belong. Are we exclusionary? Absolutely." Um, ouch. Now there's a way to incite anger in a whole lot of people.
3. H&M: First we loved the affordable chain for signing Beyoncé as their summer collection campaign model, then we were filled with anger when we learned that they had retouched her bikini photos. Turns out, we weren't the only ones. The star insisted that the company use only unaltered images of her bod for the campaign, and she won out in the end. Similarly, Roberto Cavalli also sent out severely-altered sketches of the star in one his stage costumes that made her look much thinner than she is in real life. Hey, fashion world: back off, Queen Bey!
4.Topshop: We typically adore this U.K.—based retailer for its quirky cute styles and strong celeb following (Kate Middleton, Sienna Miller, Olivia Palermo and more), but we were genuinely disappointed when we saw the store shelling out tank tops emblazoned with Rihanna's face on it, without even thinking to clear that by the mega-star first. In the end, RiRi won the court case and sang her way all the way to the bank.
Take that, Topshop!
5. Zara, Calvin Klein, Tommy Hilfiger and More: When a Bangladesh factory tragically collapsed back in May, killing more than 1,100 workers, it affected the production of major fast fashion companies including H&M, Zara, Tommy Hilfiger and Calvin Klein, just to name a few. CNN reports that the incident served as a wake-up call for companies to raise their safety standards on every level.
What do you think of these retail scandals? Sound off in the comments below!