Ah, striking at the heart, are you?
I am a former Abercrombie boy, just so you know. The company does use its snob appeal as a marketing strategy, and it has worked like a charm for over a dozen years now (hardly a fad by any definition). It uses gorgeous kids, hand-picked from the best fraternities and sororities, as hourly employees in the stores. This creates the impression that all the "cool" kids wear the stuff, and YOU should too!
I was recruited there as a store manager when I got out of the military in 2000, and the most important part of my job (more than sales, appearance of the store, loss prevention, etc.) was the quality of the pretty boys and girls I recruited from the nearby colleges. They didn't have to have any sort of work ethic, they just had to be the hottest specimens of young humanity I could get my hands on.
Having said all this, I do have to give the company credit for superior quality and workmanship in its products. I haven't been with A & F in about three years, and haven't bought any clothes, but I hardly need to. I have cargo shorts and sweatshirts that I have had since before I worked there that still look like new.