Earlier this year, clothing company Lands’ End featured an interview with pro-abortion feminist Gloria Steinem with their CEO, Federica Marchionni. Steinem was lauded as a “legend,” and the interview and accompanying photo shoot with Steinem took up three pages in the Lands’ End catalogue. On top of this, Lands’ End sold tote bags with “ERA” monogrammed on them, and for each tote sold, $3 was donated to Steinem’s organization, Fund for Women’s Equality, Inc., which lists a number of pro-abortion organizations among its affiliates, including the National Organization for Women and the Center for Reproductive Rights. To make matters worse, this interview with Steinem was run in the Easter catalogue.
The backlash was practically immediate. Lands’ End lost the business of at least two schools. Thousands of angry customers left messages expressing their displeasure on the Lands’ End Facebook page. The controversy grew so overwhelming for the company that eventually, they were forced to apologize, and pulled the interview with Steinem from their website. This only made the abortion lobby angry, and Lands’ End found themselves in major hot water.
Now, the CEO responsible has been fired. In a press release, the company was tight-lipped about the reason behind Marchionni’s exit, merely thanking her for her dedication to the brand. Marchionni was likewise professional, saying, “I am honored to have led this extraordinary company and proud to have succeeded in providing a vision to expand its positioning in the industry with a multi-dimensional strategy. However, the Board of Directors and I have agreed it is time for others to bring Lands’ End into the future. I thank everyone who supported me in this journey and wish Lands’ End the very best.”
Marchionni was originally hired to revitalize Lands’ End, which had been struggling for the past several years. But under her leadership, things only got worse; market shares plummeted, in addition to the Steinem controversy. Marchionni originally worked for Dolce & Gabbana before making the move to Lands’ End.