Law360 - Attys Cast Doubt On Abercrombie's Preppy Look Defense

Robin Shea, partner in our Winston-Salem office, was quoted in a Law360 article about Abercrombie & Fitch Stores Inc.'s argument that its preppy image would suffer if it let a sales worker wear a Muslim head scarf.

Attys Cast Doubt On Abercrombie's Preppy Look Defense

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"Abercrombie has defended itself against the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission's action by contending that the employee's religious garb would hurt sales and cause the retailer undue hardship, but it faces an uphill battle to persuade a court, according to attorneys.

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Plus, Abercrombie's claim to a preppy look may rest on shaky ground, given the skimpy clothes and sexualized models pictured on its website, attorneys said.

“There does not seem to be any reason why the hijab would automatically be incompatible with 'New England preppy cool' clothes, and it might be possible to coordinate the hijab with the Abercrombie clothes and create a good look,” said Robin Shea, a Constangy, Brooks & Smith, LLP partner."