Clothing Store Sends Email to Job Applicant Calling Her 'Not That Cute'

A Michigan company has apologized after a viral video showed an email from the vice president of operations calling a job applicant "not that cute."

21-year-old Gracie Lorincz shared the video to her TikTok account after applying for a brand ambassador position at Ava Lane Boutique in Auburn Hills, Michigan. The video showed an email sent to her from Chuck DeGrendel, vice president of operations and husband of the owner, which was aimed only for wife Laura Langen DeGrendel.

"This girl is fresh out of college (Hope College) and not that cute," he wrote. "She applied to the sales model position. Are you sure you want me to interview her?"

":)))) feeling amazing," Lorincz captioned the video, adding: "Their motto is beauty through confidence, and this is an email I accidentally got sent by the VP. Enjoy." In just over a day, the video has gained over one million views.

On Thursday morning, the DeGrendels issued an apology to Facebook during a Facebook Live, and pleaded with people to stop sending social media messages regarding the situation.

At the start of the Facebook Live, a tearful Chuck DeGrendel explained that the company normally has a human resources employee who deals with job applications, but due to them being away for the week, it was left to him.

The email, according to Chuck DeGrendel, had been intended to be seen only by Laura, but he accidentally sent it to Lorincz too.

"I didn't feel she was that cute," he said. "So I didn't know if I wanted to proceed with an interview. I don't know why I said that, but I did, and I am very sorry for saying that because it was very unprofessional and really not in line with our core values here, or my core values in general."

He added that his wife called him while he was driving and informed him that they had received a customer service email regarding the video.

"I can only imagine how awful she would feel," he said. "I'm really, really sorry that I said that. It was wrong to say on so many levels, I don't know why I said it, but I did and it's 100 percent my fault."

Chuck DeGrendel said that he had sent Lorincz a personal apology too, and said he deserved the "blowback" from the video.

As reported by Detroit Free Press, Chuck DeGrendel will no longer be involved with the model hiring process, according to a Facebook post shared by him: "In light of recent events and after deep personal reflection, I have decided to remove myself from the model hiring process at Ava Lana Boutique and all future hires for such positions at Ava Lane Boutique will be handled by out HR representative. I apologize again for what I said and to anyone I offended."

Laura Langen Degrendel later joined the Facebook Live and condemned those sending offensive social media messages to them and their children. "Our phone numbers are out there, our address is out there, our children have been threatened," she said.

"I'm pretty sure the girl, who Chuck has apologized to, didn't mean, when she asked her followers to contact us, to threaten our family. I'm sure that wasn't her intention, but that's what happened," she added.

Since the video went viral, the company had been inundated with negative online reviews, many of which dubbed the store, "not that cute." The company doesn't currently have a Yelp page, and any Google reviews left by viewers have been removed.

Lorincz's mother, Heather Lorincz, however told the Detroit Free Press that her daughter didn't encourage users to contact Ava Lane Boutique, saying: "[she was] not trying to harm this business and made no threats whatsoever and did not include a call to action either. She just posted the email and her feelings."

In a comment left on the viral video, Lorincz asked users not to contact them, writing: "Hi! This has gotten a lot more attention [than] I had ever imagined. Thank you so much for the support, but please leave this family out of this."

Newsweek contacted Chuck DeGrendel, Ava Lane Boutique and Gracie Lorincz for comment.

Jeans hanging in clothing store
Jeans lined up in a clothing store. A Michigan clothing store has apologized after calling a job applicant "not that cute". Getty Images