Have you heard? Your favorite middle school brand is making a major comeback. Yep, none other than Abercrombie & Fitch is back and better than ever. We know, we know, your brain just flashed back to corduroy miniskirts paired with the infamous collared shirts (and moose emblem, natch). But that’s not what the rebrand is looking like. Think, H&M meets Topshop with a hint of Aritzia. From a branding standpoint, the relaunch is all about ensuring that the brand’s morals align with equality, diversity and giving back. The clothing refresh, however, is solely based on staying current with the hottest trends, and we’ve gotta say, we’re here for it.
So, what happened?
Way back when, A&F got a ton of backlash over its fake image. A lot of it came down to the CEO at the time, Mike Jeffries. Under Jeffries’ leadership, A&F was seen as promoting an incredibly narrow beauty ideal, and honestly, making the brand feel quite exclusionary. He was even quoted in an interview with Salon as saying, “That's why we hire good-looking people in our stores. Because good-looking people attract other good-looking people, and we want to market to cool, good-looking people. We don't market to anyone other than that.” Yikes. As society—thankfully—broadened its definition of beauty, Abercrombie—with Jeffries at the helm—became more and more backward and irrelevant.
Enter: New CEO Fran Horowitz, who took on this whale of a rebrand about four years ago and is largely credited with making it the success it is today.