In what may or may not be just a publicity stunt, Abercrombie & Fitch has offered Jersey Shore star Mike "The Situation" Sorrentino a "substantial" amount of money to stop wearing their clothing, WWD reports.
The A&F Brand Senses Department made the following statement Tuesday:
"We are deeply concerned that Mr. Sorrentino’s association with our brand could cause significant damage to our image. We understand that the show is for entertainment purposes, but believe this association is contrary to the aspirational nature of our brand, and may be distressing to many of our fans."
It's an interesting tactic for a retailer that has built its notoriety by regularly distressing its fans and foes with sexy, skin-filled catalogues, not to mention loud and heavily-scented stores. Nevermind that Sorrentino's torso very closely resembles their trademark six-packed shirtless spokesmen, or that he reportedly has a line of tuxedos in the works.
Sorrentino's people declined comment, but whether or not he accepts the offer and switches out his Abercrombie wardrobe for the requested "alternate brand", the proposition is already generating buzz.
This also isn't the first time that "The Jersey Shore" cast has found itself entangled with the fashion industry. After Snooki was spotted carrying a new Gucci handbag in 2010, rumors flew that the flashy carryall was actually the work of a rival handbag maker, looking to put a dent in Gucci's branding. It would seem that associating with the "Jersey Shore" castmates overall is an unsavory proposition for most fashion labels.
Ideally, A&F would like to be disassociated with the entire show, telling WWD: "We have also extended this offer to other members of the cast, and are urgently waiting a response." And so are the blogs.