Foreign models visiting Korea to promote the opening of American clothing company Hollister’s store have come under fire for mocking Asians.
Four male models were flown in to work the opening of the first South Korean Hollister location in Yeouido on August 30, but rather than focusing on a model’s job of looking attractive and enticing consumers, two of them decided it was more appropriate to tweet a picture of themselves perpetuating the “squinty eyes” stereotype. A third model was seen flipping the bird while posing for photographs at the opening event.
With regards to one tweeted photo, a follower quipped, “Look at how many Asians liked that picture… impressive,” prompting the model to add fuel to the offensive fire with the response: “Hahahaha they ruhhvvvv itttt!”
Hollister’s parent company, Abercrombie & Fitch, says they have now fired the models.
“Hollister Co. and its parent company Abercrombie & Fitch value diversity and inclusion. In a recent incident in South Korea, a couple of associates did not adhere to these values,” a spokesperson said in a statement to FOX411′s Pop Tarts column. “As a company, we do not tolerate inappropriate or offensive behavior. We terminated the associates involved as a result of their actions. On behalf of our more than 80,000 employees around the world who cherish our core values and our culture of diversity and inclusion, we sincerely apologize for the offense caused by these unauthorized, ill-considered actions.”
But an axing and an apology may not be enough to satisfy some outraged organizations and customers.
“Shame on Hollister! It’s offensive and racist to make ‘squinty eyes’ and speak gibberish to mock Asian accents. It’s good that Abercrombie & Fitch, the parent company of Hollister, has apologized,” Margaret Fung, Executive Director of the Asian American Legal Defense and Education Fund (AALDEF), a national organization that protects and promotes the civil rights of Asian Americans, told us. “But with its own track record of selling racist T-shirts (remember the ‘Wong Brothers Laundry Service’ caricatures?), Abercrombie obviously needs to do a better job of educating all of its employees to refrain from using racist Asian stereotypes.”
In 2002, the clothing conglomerate was forced to pull the line of t-shirts, which featured such images as men with slanted eyes in conical hats taking jabs at the English pronunciation of East Asians, and ignited protests from Asians across the country.
“We hope Hollister takes swift action to investigate this matter, and ensure that the comments and actions of these employees are not indicative of the company’s views towards individuals of Asian descent generally, especially given that its parent company agreed to root out such discriminatory treatment of Asian Americans and other communities of color as part of a settlement of a suit that the Asian Pacific American Legal Center and other civil rights groups brought against them,” the Asian Pacific American Legal Center Litigation Director Laboni Hoq said.
The Twitterverse isn’t happy either..
“That store should be shut down, and I am not just talking in South Korea,” tweeted one, another wrote that the store “is run by douchebags for douchebags,” while others simply referred to the controversial pictures as “dumb,” “lame,” and “unbelievable.”
Posts Tagged ‘Hollister Models’
Foreign models visiting Korea to promote the opening of American clothing company Hollister’s store have come under fire for mocking Asians.
Made ‘Squinty Eyes’ And Gave the Finger to Local Koreans
The hunky male models who hang out in front of Hollister stores may be hot, but some of them are also ignorant racists. Three in particular are making headlines after being canned for offending customers in the company’s new Korean store.
Hollister had flown four models to the city of Yeouido for a weeklong stay to help promote the opening of the new location. But the situation soured quickly after several were caught making “squinty eyes” at the locals and giving members of the press the middle finger. One of them was even caught mocking the culture on Twitter. After a friend commented on the number of Asians in a photo he had posted, our friendly male model replied, “”Hahahaha they ruhhvvvv itttt!” Nice.
Naturally, the local media had a fit, with several outlets telling their viewers to boycott the store. Hollister freaked out and immediately went into damage control mode. The company soon released a statement announcing the firing of the models who’d acted inappropriately:
“In summary, the company terminated the couple of associates involved. On behalf of our more than 80,000 associates around the world who cherish our core values and our culture of diversity and inclusion, we sincerely apologize for the offense caused by these unauthorized, ill-considered actions.”
We commend Hollister for acting swiftly and aggressively to correct the situation. But as the for the dark lights in your stores that make it nearly impossible to see the clothes? We’re still not impressed.
Hollister is in trouble and this time it’s a lot worse than bad Photoshop.
Earlier this month, the company hosted a splashy opening party for their first Korean store and carted in models “dressed as lifeguards” (like the ones above) to take pictures with adoring fans. Although it still blows our minds that people queue up for iPhone photos with shirtless strangers, demand is demand, and it’s the same in Korea as it is on 5th Ave, apparently.
But rather than stand there with dopey grins while discreetly flexing, things got super racist. English Korean news site koreaBANG reported, “Images of models making ‘squinty eyes’ faces, flipping their middle finger to photographers, and mocking Asian pronunciation of English appeared on their Twitter accounts.”
Sure, one of the models was photographed giving the middle finger, but others posted offensive content to Twitter, like one photo featuring the model “standing in front of Gyeongbokkung Palace, squinting his eyes and making peace signs with his fingers. When one commenter remarked on how many Asians had liked the photo, he responded, ‘Hahahaha they ruhhvvvv itttt!’”
Oh, here it is:
The brand has a real shitshow on its hands, now that Korean customers have threatened to boycott. Here’s their official apology via Facebook:
Hollister Co. and its parent company Abercrombie & Fitch value diversity and inclusion. In a recent incident in South Korea, a couple of associates did not adhere to these values. As a company, we do not tolerate inappropriate or offensive behavior. We terminated the associates involved as a result of their actions. On behalf of our more than 80,000 employees around the world who cherish our core values and our culture of diversity and inclusion, we sincerely apologize for the offense caused by these unauthorized, ill-considered actions.
Look, there’s no excuse to be a racist bastard at any age, but this whole thing strikes us as yet another reason why professional modeling careers need to start later in life.
A group of models was sent to South Korea to meet customers at a new Hollister clothing store. Unfortunately, it seems that management forgot to train the models on how to interact with people from different cultures. Perhaps feeling confused, the models greeted their new fans by making racial slurs.
Witnesses said that one of the models flipped his middle finger off at customers during the store opening, KoreaBang reported. And an unnamed model posted a photo to Instagram making a “squinty eyes” facial expressions in front of the Gyeongbokgung Palace, Ninemsn reported.
And when one model tweeted a photo from the South Korean store, a follower said, “Look at how many Asians liked that picture… impressive.” The model responded by ridiculing Asian pronunciation of English words, writing, “Hahahaha they ruhhvvvv itttt!,” the New York Daily News reported.
Hollister apologized in a statement to Ninemsn: “On behalf of our more than 80,000 associates around the world who cherish our core values and our culture of diversity and inclusion, we sincerely apologize for the offense caused by these unauthorized, ill-considered actions.”
The incident is bad press for Abercrombie & Fitch, Hollister’s parent company. Abercrombie has long been accused of favoring white salespeople.
It’s common for fashion brands to commit multiple Photoshop fails, but rarely does a brand unveil several in one day.
Hollister Co, the lifestyle brand from Abercrombie & Fitch Co, released a new promotional image, featuring one male and one female model, on its Facebook page today.
If you’re reading this, you’ve either been approached by a reasonably attractive guy/girl and have been teased into filling out an application just to have a “little job on the side,” or you’re wondering what’s going on inside that store with that really loud music and broken light bulbs. Being part of the former means this guide certainly is for you. Here are some tips and facts you should know about Hollister, straight from a current employee (I’ve been working with them for 1 ½ years part-time, 1 year as Impact, ½ as a Model [currently as a Model). The best way to describe the job/process is to see what happens step by step.
After being asked to apply, you're taken to a computer on the side and you're given an electronic application to fill out. You'll go through several pages of information such as basic facts and hobbies about yourself (your hobbies and reasons to work aren't really considered, as long as you don't put down you're a murderer or anything strange like that). Soon you'll reach a page asking what position you want. Full time positions include various types of management: general manager, overnight manager and visual manager. All management positions require a 4 year degree, and seem to be what you would expect from a manager at a retail store. However, I am not a full-time employee, so I cannot give much information other than that about full-time positions. If you opt for a part time position you'll be given two choices: Model or Impact. These job titles can be quite misleading, since the Model position isn't really a model in the conventional sense (don't be scared off by how bold the word "model" can be, there won't be any runways here), and the word "Impact" doesn't really have anything to do with the work in store for that position.
Let's say you choose Model, and the rest of the application runs smoothly. You choose a date for a "group interview," and wait a few days for a phone call confirming it. Once you enter the interview, you'll see usually 3-4 other people sitting in the "lounge" (an area by the registers, decorated with several couches and armchairs). In this group interview one of the managers (very young, usually in their 20's to go with the young "So-Cal" party theme) asks all the potential employees several questions, much like some on the application. This is just for management to get an idea of who you are. Sometimes to break the tension, they'll ask more light-hearted questions like: "What would you do with a million dollars?" or "If you could have one super power, what would it be?"
With a group interview, most are led on to believe that the people surrounding you are all competing for your potential job. What few people know is with Hollister, this isn't the case. Hollisters are very over-populated with employees, with low-volume stores sometimes hitting 100 workers (my current store has 107), and medium to higher volumes with even more. Like management this also goes with the party atmosphere the company tries to build, due to the fact that more and different people working at Hollister makes the shopping experience feel like one gigantic party. Therefore, there is a very good chance that most, if not everyone in the interview will be hired, which will be found out in the following few days. This clears up a common misconception about Hollister only hiring "attractive" people, which from my experience simply isn't true since Hollister seems to want to hire as many people as possible.
The extra-high amount of employees results in a major contest for hours. Most employees get around 2-3 shifts a week (each shift lasting 4 or 5 hours), with even less during breaks and summers due to college students returning. Your schedule can be very random. Don't be surprised if one week you get 30-35 hours and the next week you receive 4, or sometimes even none.
So congratulations, you've been hired! The first shift is orientation (fully paid), which is standard paperwork and training videos. After that will be your first actual day of work. The "Model" position is described as more "customer orientated," resulting in two main activities: register and room assignment. Register is very straight-forward: if you aren't ringing up a customer, you're either fixing up any messy shelves around the area or letting someone into a fitting room. For room assignment, you're given a walkie-talkie and told to watch one of the rooms in the store (Hollister uses ultra-hip lingo to describe their rooms, with "Dudes" meaning men and "Bettys" meaning women). The point of this is to straighten the room up, making sure all the clothes are in order and looking good, while also reducing shoplifting by monitoring the several shoppers in the store. Hollisters have very high shrink-rates, meaning a lot of merchandise is stolen from the store in a given time period. The Model is suppose to lower this rate by using taglines (usually tacky, irrelevant statements like "Have you met Jake and Malaia?" [store fragrances]) and loss- prevention statements, which are general statements about the shopper and merchandise. Models are also encouraged to interact and in most cases flirt with customers who come in to try and boost sales, in an attempt to reach the “jean goal” for the day (how many jeans corporate wants to sell in a day, varies per store. Very important). Overall, a Model’s job is very lax, with much sitting around during the dull moments of the day.
Now let’s go back to the interview and say you choose Impact. An Impacter’s job is described as more “task orientated” as a Model’s. This boils down to more bluntly “stock,” and making sure everything runs smoothly by being the backbone of the store. After the same standard orientation, your first day will result with you working in the back of the store. The back stockroom has several large, movable shelves called “bays” filled with clothes, large steaming machines, extra shelves, bathrooms, lockers, and several folding tables. Impact has several activities, such as cleaning, USR’s and shipment. Cleaning is pretty standard and straight-forward, making sure the backroom is clean and taking out the garbage. USR stands for “Units Sold Report.” They come in the form of a list, which is updated whenever a transaction occurs in the front. The list is full of whatever has been purchased in the day as a checklist. As an Impacter, you’re responsible to find everything on that list by digging through the bays in the back, then put the items on the shelves out front. These lists can be extremely long since some stores sell a lot of merchandise, making this job very hectic. However, an Impacter must also deal with shipment. Received daily, shipments in Hollister usually come in very large bulks of 10 to sometimes 30 large boxes, with several shirts & pants fitting in each (containing whatever’s been sold a few days before). Impacters are required to unpack these boxes and stock their contents in the bays. Shipment coinciding with USR’s makes for a very heavy workload for Impact.
As if the amount of work an Impacter has wasn’t problem enough, other factors make their job even harder. The bays (which are organized by a system of numbers representing each article of clothing, its color and style) are usually in complete disarray since Models often rummage through them looking for a certain shirt or pants a customer may want while not knowing or understanding the system being used. Another problem comes when at any given time the amount of Models working to Impacters is usually 5:1, meaning not many people are doing the most amount of work the store gives.
From what I’ve experienced as working both positions, the job of Model seems fairly easier than Impact. It’s pretty unfair, considering how expendable and numerous Models can be while the store could potentially fall apart without enough Impacters, and both positions pay the same wage (usually minimum). So if you decide to work for Hollister, I urge you to work as a Model, since it actually makes for a pretty decent part-time job, so long as you have something else on the side to make up for the weeks you don’t receive too many hours. I’ll also say please be nice to whoever is working Impact, because chances are they have a rough day ahead of them.
Do you ever feel silly?
Of course. I feel like an object and a tool, but the job is really flexible, and it pays pretty well for what you do just standing there.
Do you mind if I inquire how much? I’m thinking about applying.
Uh, yeah. It pays me a decent amount. It allows me to be able to stay in New York.
So… a lot?
Quite a bit. Last year I made $56,000.
Just standing around and looking beautiful? That’s incredible.
I was there a lot.
How do you sleep at night?
I know that my bills are paid. It’s kind of like being a stripper, but it’s not as sleazy. All we do is stand here and take photos.
Do people touch you a lot?
Oh yeah. Women just see you on the street with your shirt off, and they think it’s okay to touch. But if roles were reversed they’d be calling the police.
Why are male models better in bed?
I don’t know if they are.
Are you good in bed?
You’d have to ask my partners.
Isn’t sex a big part of your job?
I mean, you’re selling sex but it doesn’t mean you’re better than the next guy. Models have to convey sex. Males especially. That doesn’t necessarily mean they’re good in bed. I’m okay.
My boyfriend, whom I love, cheated on me and I found out. Can I take him back or is it over for good?
I think the relationship might be over for good. I think it’s just taboo. You just don’t do it. And if you do do it, then the trust won’t ever be there. There are relationships that can continue and flourish afterwards but it just takes tons of work. The damage is done.
How can I convince my girlfriend to have anal sex?
That’s taboo for me. I’m not into that.
Did you have a bad experience?
I tried it once. There’s just some things that aren’t for you. I don’t drink and smoke and I have no desire to. I can’t even advise you, especially when I’m not into it. Sorry.
You’re really well-groomed, shaved and all that. Do you expect the same in a girl?
Yeah of course. Hair down there, all that — it’s important. Most of the time, I like it all gone. It looks well-groomed.
I’m trying to make some guy friends, but whenever I meet a new guy, it seems like all they want from me is sex. The minute I make it clear I’m not interested, they’re gone. Can’t men and women be friends?
It’s possible. I have a platonic friend.
Is she ugly?
She’s very pretty. It’s just not there though. I just know it wouldn’t work. I’ve seen her in relationships before so I know she would get on my nerves. After you break up with an ex you can be friends with them as well.
You can? How do you do that?
It takes a lot of trust in your current partner to know what’s done between you two is done completely.
But, the real question is, is it ever done?
I think it can be.
From Hollister Models – Brandon
What’s the job description attached to this?
F: Modeling. Standing up shirtless.
S: Pretty much self-explanatory. We come here, take off our shirts, and stand around for a little bit. » Read more: Sex Advice From Hollister Models – Frank, 21 & Sean, 23
Ah, summer in New York. The season of movies in the park, weekends in the Hamptons, and models standing nearly naked on street corners. For those of you not lucky enough in a town with a Hollister, each summer, the clothing store hires hunky young gentleman and pays them… to stand around and do nothing. Our intrepid reporter dodged the floor manager to ask them about sex, dating, and how it feels to be really, really good-looking.