Thursday, Jun 18, 2015, 3:54 pm
After Layoffs of 175 Workers, J.Crew Exec Instagrams His Night Celebrating, Making Hunger Games Joke
After telling members of his team they had lost their jobs, a J.Crew executive went drinking and celebrating with other employees at a bar, posting goofy photos and The Hunger Games jokes on Instagram.
The New York Post reported that Alejandro Rhett, vice president of men's merchandising at the struggling clothing company, delivered the news Wednesday to some of the 175 workers affected by the layoffs at the company's New York City headquarters. He then went drinking with other employees at the Linen Hall bar, their celebrations documented—and extensively hashtagged—on Instagram.
One photo depicting Rhett and a female friend jumping for joy used the hashtags #hungergames and #maytheoddsbeeverinyourfavor, ostensibly comparing the bloody battles royale of the young adult dystopian novel to the layoffs. J.Crew employee Julie Stamos posted another photo where she and Rhett pose for a "casual photo shoot" outside Linen Hall, complete with hashtags #forthewin and #damnitfeelsgoodtobeagangster.
The photos have since been taken down, and a J.Crew spokesman said the company "does not condone" the behavior of Rhett and the other employees. “As soon as we were made aware, the appropriate actions took place,” said the spokesman without elaboration.
A J.Crew insider, the Post reported, criticized Rhett's "poor judgment" and "inappropriate" behavior. “J.Crew has serious issues right now, and no one in the office had a smile on their face that day.” The layoffs came after J.Crew reported mounting losses in its first quarter, with sales dropping by 5 percent compared to the same period in 2014 and an operating loss of nearly $521 million.
Company executives have blamed J.Crew's poor performance on various fashion faux pas in their catalog, such as the "Tilly," a crop-top women's sweater that bombed and ended up in the sale pile.
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Karen Gwee is a Summer 2015 editorial intern at In These Times. She is a rising junior studying journalism and English at Northwestern University, and she tweets at @karen_gwee.
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