Announcement

Collapse
No announcement yet.

Abercrombie & Fitch: What Happened?

Collapse
X
 
  • Filter
  • Time
  • Show
Clear All
new posts

    Abercrombie & Fitch: What Happened?

    I have a confession to make- in high school Abercrombie & Fitch ("A&F") was the most self-assured brand one could wear. They rightfully became synonymous with all the things I hated about clothes- unnecessarily expensive, over sexualized, and inaccessible for any non-white, non-straight, non...you get the idea.

    I happened by one of their stores in the mall this week (incidentally, the first mall I have been inside in years) and I noticed subtle changes in the storefront. There was no dim lighting and blaring music, the air was clear of odoriferous toxins, and the clientele was, well, non-existent. Indeed, the store was quite empty. I happened to notice a jacket on display that caught my eye because it looked like something right out of a Land's End catalog. I left my kids at the toy stand full of LED's and fake guns and walked in to look around. What I saw surprised the heck out of me. Buttery soft (and tasteful) wool/nylon/cotton fair isle sweaters, rugged and well-built chinos in an accessible fit, affordable and incredible feeling flannels.... and of course the parka that brought me in the door: 600 fill down, poly/nylon shell, side-slant pockets, and just over $100.

    For comparison:
    A&F M51 Parka: https://www.abercrombie.com/shop/us/...alue=629585798
    LE Rusk Parka: https://www.landsend.com/products/me...67?sku_0=::7G2

    Granted the LE coat looks like it might have more insulation and be a bit warmer, it also looks boxier and has the "100% poly" look instead of the more matte poly/nylon (I'm also a fan of nylon for wear-resistant properties). Price is a bit better for LE, but I think AF gets the nod as a more stylish piece that absolutely has functionality going for it.

    A&F Flannel: https://www.abercrombie.com/shop/us/...70709&ofp=true
    LE Flannel: https://www.landsend.com/products/me...78?sku_0=::7EN

    Pretty even here, and LE has 3 fits available... but really, most guys are gonna go for their slim. The AF Large was a great OTR fit for me at 16.5/35. Cost for LE shirts is a steady $30 each, while A&F was on sale for $25 each. I also liked the patterns A&F had available more than LE, some of which leaned towards old man flannel territory (hello, Montgomery Green Tartan)

    What happened to this place? I mean, I kept thinking this was a younger Land's End. They have really done a 180 in my mind as a casual option with outfitter roots, a value proposition, and near-heritage like quality. I'm more likely to buy my next button down from A&F than J Crew, and I never thought that I would type that in my life. Anyone else have a similar experience?

    #2
    I've bought a thing or two from A&F in recent history (notably a couple swimsuits) but I have such a strong negative association with A&F from my early-2000s middle school/high school years that I am real hesitant to wear anything with an A&F logo and would have a hard time ever elevating it to go-to store status.
    Ben

    Comment


      #3
      They got annihilated by brands like UNIQLO, Primark, H&M, and Zara, so they completely rebranded (and in most cases, unbranded their logo off their clothes). Jury's still out on whether or not the company will ever regain a niche of the market though.

      https://www.gq.com/story/abercrombie-new-brand-logo

      I'm in the same boat as [MENTION=2341]LesserBlackDog[/MENTION] though -- I have such a negative association with the brand that I'd never set foot in a store. Maybe if I found a flannel while thrift shopping......

      Comment


        #4
        Originally posted by believe0101 View Post
        They got annihilated by brands like UNIQLO, Primark, H&M, and Zara, so they completely rebranded (and in most cases, unbranded their logo off their clothes). Jury's still out on whether or not the company will ever regain a niche of the market though.

        https://www.gq.com/story/abercrombie-new-brand-logo

        I'm in the same boat as [MENTION=2341]LesserBlackDog[/MENTION] though -- I have such a negative association with the brand that I'd never set foot in a store. Maybe if I found a flannel while thrift shopping......
        That's cute, it's as if they just rebranded to a J.Crew clone except that it's got the bad connotation from it's 90s/00s mantra and asshat of a former CEO. Abercrombie had a good brand from pre-90s, but they ruined that for at least a good generation or two chasing what they did in the 90s/00s.

        Being in NYC I rarely see the inside of a mall, but it's good to hear that they've stopped their assault on the olfactory organs of those within a mile radius of each store, like it was in years past. A couple years back I got a headache from being in the same wing of a mall of the A&F store.

        Comment


          #5
          This is probably not general knowledge but back in the day they used to be one of THE American outfitters for folks like folks like Teddy Roosevelt (yes, the President), Ernest Shackleton of polar exploration fame, Amelia Earhart, on through John F. Kennedy and Dwight Eisenhower. It wasn't until the mid-1980s that they started franchising and became a teen fashion brand. So, they are kind of getting back to their roots by producing American heritage sportswear. I think this transformation may be too little, too late to save them, but then a lot of retail chains are in that boat these days.
          “Clothes make the man. Naked people have little or no influence on society.” – Mark Twain

          Comment


            #6
            I can't step foot in that store with all the cologne/perfume they constantly spray everywhere. Gives me an instant headache.

            Comment


              #7
              Originally posted by hornsup84 View Post
              That's cute, it's as if they just rebranded to a J.Crew clone except that it's got the bad connotation from it's 90s/00s mantra and asshat of a former CEO. Abercrombie had a good brand from pre-90s, but they ruined that for at least a good generation or two chasing what they did in the 90s/00s.

              Being in NYC I rarely see the inside of a mall, but it's good to hear that they've stopped their assault on the olfactory organs of those within a mile radius of each store, like it was in years past. A couple years back I got a headache from being in the same wing of a mall of the A&F store.
              their 90's/00's stuff was like a dividing line in our town when I was growing up, I just couldn't get a grasp on it then, but if they've done this silent rebrand, I'm not against giving them a look now. I remember they had a store down on South Street Seaport and you could smell it all the way over at the bridge. I funnily enough found myself killing time in a mall in Southern Ohio last week, and now that you mention it, when I walked past the store, I didn't smell a thing.

              Comment


                #8
                Originally posted by Nandyn View Post
                I can't step foot in that store with all the cologne/perfume they constantly spray everywhere. Gives me an instant headache.
                (As I mentioned in OP) The store I visited had no more cologne/perfume. Smelled totally normal. Like clothes should.

                Comment


                  #9
                  Originally posted by DapperTexan View Post
                  (As I mentioned in OP) The store I visited had no more cologne/perfume. Smelled totally normal. Like clothes should.
                  Woops, totally missed that. The one by where I live probably didn't get the memo or their walls/fixtures are fully impregnated with it cuz you can smell it just walking past it in the mall.

                  Comment


                    #10
                    I'm more of a Hollister guy.

                    Comment


                      #11
                      Originally posted by Shade View Post
                      I'm more of a Hollister guy.

                      Comment


                        #12
                        At one point in my life I owned a half dozen of those thick and distressed A&F tshirts with giant variations of their logo, along with their hoodies, shorts, button-up shirts. I remember seeing ppl lining up around the corner in front of the fifth ave A&F store just to take pictures with half naked and ripped af bros, around christmas. I swear if I concentrate hard enough I can conjure up in my head that obnoxious smell of that 'cologne' of theirs.

                        All that is to say, you can pry bonobos from my cold dead hands.

                        PS: also interesting to note is that while aesthetically I think American Eagle used to fall in the same category as A&F/Hollister, they seemed to have largely endured whatever it is that plagued/undid the other two brands in the last 5-10 years. And I'm not even sure if American Eagle had to make any changes to stay afloat.

                        Comment


                          #13
                          AE never really had the super obnoxious ad campaigns and cachet to have to avoid/drop/overcome, I think.

                          Comment


                            #14
                            I used to work for Hollister and still have a track jacket from them in the closet. The AF sweaters look pretty good but I am set for casual winter clothing.

                            Comment


                              #15
                              why the negative association with A&F? It was all anyone wore when I was like 14-18.

                              Comment

                              Working...
                              X