The Cult of Abercrombie

  • Posted by a hidden member.
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    Dec 19, 2007 12:42 AM GMT
    Trance,

    It's ACID WASHED!!!!!! Can you believe it!? I was given that for free, so that proves that God exists. That is a halloween picture, I dressed up as a redneck dressed up as Neo from the matrix. It was a meta-costume.
  • duglyduckling

    Posts: 279

    Dec 19, 2007 12:45 AM GMT
    The argument that a hot guy with a hot body wearing A&F is a total turn on... that's just total BS.

    A hot guy with a hot body can wear just about anything and it'll be a total turn on.

    Often times, I see overweight guys wearing A&F, and it just doesn't look right, but then everyone's chasing that ideal...

    Wear clothes that fit and compliment your own body, that's all that matters. For me, being 5'7 and 120 lbs... means shopping in GAP Kids, H&M Kids and Zara Kids half the time, but you know what? the clothes fit and compliment me, and that's all that matter. Not to mention that it's half the price as compared to A&F!
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    Dec 19, 2007 1:03 AM GMT
    Ah the great questions of fashion and abercrombie, first of all i'll state what many of you have already stated, they go for the "snob" appeal or "if you dont have me then you should" it's their marketing plan and hey it works. With that being said i own a number of their basketball shorts and tshirts, which are the most comfortable things i have ever worn. In my experience i only wear abercrombie when i want to be comfy and be low key.
    If you ask me there are plenty of other clothing that is superior in quality and more importantly more impressionable. For example what about NORDSTROM, they carry a variety of affordable and fucking awesome styles that fit everyones personal preferences, perhaps it's because i use to work for them on a corporate level and i may be being bias but come on, the men's section, especially the rail, is fucking rad. from college to our professional world the clothing meshes perfectly.

    Abercrombie is good stuff be there is PLENTY of better brands out there that do emphasis the male body
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    Dec 19, 2007 2:08 AM GMT
    I like Abercrombie. I like to think I've gracefully aged out of their target demographic, but I still can't find a better-fitting polo or casual button-up. I haven't found any other brands that compliment my body better. Pants are comfy too, though I can't get away with thrashed and holey jeans at work these days. I never went for the corporate-whore-plastered-in-logos look (well...not too much), but the clothes hold up decently well (really, who even wears a shirt for a year or more these days anyway??).

    Anyone taking a look at my closet would think I'm an Abercrombie whore. They recruited me for store management a little while back, so out of loyalty I filled my closet right up! icon_surprised.gif
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    Dec 19, 2007 2:34 AM GMT
    I have only one major problem with A&F, and that is that they have managed to ruin one of the worlds really great sporting goods marques.

    I went to A&F in NYC once when I was a little kid, and it was a wonderland for outdoorsmen, and every kind of sport imaginable. My grandfather bought me my first fly fishing rod and reel there. I can still remember being awed at rows of glass cases, full of rare firearms, in the gun room.

    Now its nothing more than an overly priced clothing store for pretty boys.
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    Dec 19, 2007 2:39 AM GMT
    Better A&F then some styles:

    IcyHotStunatz.jpg

    Ok Sick, now prove god exists. Surely god would smite these pictured infidels! I want some pics of the lighting coming down icon_twisted.gif
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    Dec 19, 2007 2:44 AM GMT
    "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."

    That is just repulsive! What is WRONG with this picture??
  • HndsmKansan

    Posts: 17113

    Dec 19, 2007 3:59 AM GMT
    I do wear a little A&F, but for me Polo is/ has been the thing. I've been accused of much the same with Polo.

    I am very grounded with most things in my life, but Ralph Lauren polo shirts are an exception. I have polo shirts that are new in sacks in my closet I've forgotten about. Its always kind of fun to check those bags and remember, "oh yeah" I do have a black stripped polo... or whats worse, "I didn't know I even had this new shirt (with tags still on). You don't want to know what my bf says about this.......

    It will pass and so will those with A&F. But then there will be the new designer... with that designers name, etc.... LOL
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    Dec 19, 2007 4:10 AM GMT
    Ralph Lipschitz (Ralph Lauren) from Moshulu Parkway in the Bronx and his whole designer schtick is to make you think you've just completed a chukka of polo and are now about to lunch with the Queen?

    Puke-o-rama.
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    Dec 19, 2007 4:28 AM GMT
    If I had to choose a brand that evoked elite privilege, it would be the old Abercrombie & Fitch, the one of my father's generation (and he is an old man). I wonder how many people remember that before the brand was marketed at bicurious fraternity brothers it was a sober upscale men's clothier for the WASP gentry. My dad walked into one of their stores once about ten years ago thinking he would find a smart tie or a tweed jacket; man, was he confused and depressed.
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    Dec 19, 2007 4:48 AM GMT
    Are you sure about that, Sock Monkey? When I was a kid during the last Ice Age, we shopped at A&F and I don't remember it having any elitist association at all. In fact, I remember canoes and guns in the basement. (Maybe I'm mis-remembering.)

    When, decades later, I saw the A&F shopping bags with their homoerotic graphics, I was astounded. I decided that in the same way my mother prepared me for life as a queer by putting me in a gym at 5 years of age, she had also taught me to dress like a fag.
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    Dec 19, 2007 4:56 AM GMT
    I am actually not so sure about that now, OW. I know the incarnation of A&F you are talking about: I was given an awesome A&F boomerang when I was in junior high. (It really worked well.) I had thought that it dated from a mid-1980's reinvention as an Eddie Bauer-type store. But perhaps that was in fact its original identity from way back, and that is what my father was nostalgic for. That would make even more sense, since he's a big outdoorsman. (I think it's important to note that at one time, before it began trading mainly in clothes for very tall people, Eddie Bauer also did a lot of business in camping gear.)

    But I still wonder if A&F didn't have sort of an elite cache even back in the day, whenever it was founded--the way a lot of outdoors sports did before mountain climbing and skiing became more democratized. If you look at the old photographs of early mountaineering societies from the 1930's and 40's, it's always a bunch of white (but their race would go without saying in that era) alumni of Dartmouth and Cornell in tweed jackets carrying ropes and ice axes.

    I am fairly certain that if A&F was originally a crypto-homosexualist sporting goods store, my father was oblivious to it.
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    Dec 19, 2007 5:17 AM GMT
    A&F was originally one of the PREMIERE names in sports and outdoors equipement. Think LL Bean, Cabela's, Eddie Bauer, and Orvis all rolled into one. The gun Room was fantastic, and their trophy room - full of African Big Game animals was a wonderland.

    A&F was very egalitarian, but it did supply the worlds elite with sporting goods for about a hundred years.

    From Wikipedia:

    "During the beginning of the 20th century, Abercrombie & Fitch Co. was a retail store for New York's elite sporting expeditions. Prominent American figures who have worn clothing from the Company include Charles Lindbergh, Amelia Earhart, John Sloan, Greta Garbo, Katharine Hepburn, Clark Gable, Vivien Rendleman, Harpo Marx, John Steinbeck, Tole Liberman, and Ernest Hemingway (who is said to have bought the gun he used to commit suicide at Abercrombie & Fitch Co.)...

    ...Abercrombie Co. was founded by David T. Abercrombie on June 4, 1892 as a small waterfront shop at No.36 South Street in downtown Manhattan, New York; wealthy New York lawyer Ezra Fitch was one of his regular customers.[14] In 1900, Fitch left his law practice and bought a major share into the growing company, thus becoming co-founder. There afterwards, Abercrombie Co. moved into larger quarters at 314 Broadway, and Fitch began to implement experimental ideas on how to renovate the store.[14] In 1904, the his surname was incorporated and so the official name was changed to Abercrombie & Fitch Co."

    At one time A&F was the worlds largest sporting goods store. It was located on Madison Avenue. The basement was a shooting range. The 6th floor was a picture gallery, a bookstore, and a golf school. The seventh floor had the famous gun room with hundreds of firearms, and the Trophy Room. The eighth floor was fishing, camping, and boating. There was a pool on the roof that was used to demonstrate and give lessons for fishing and boating.

    They also had a store in San Francisco.

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    Dec 19, 2007 5:22 AM GMT
    All I know is that my great-grandfather carved small decoy birds for sale at the original Abercrombie stores...so I have a hunch things have changed a bit since then. And I'm sorry to say I've never even been into one of the new stores so all I know about is the half naked guys on the shopping bags...and who doesn't like a half naked guy?
  • NickoftheNort...

    Posts: 1416

    Dec 19, 2007 8:19 AM GMT
    These last few posts have me thinking of a research topic: American masculinity through Abercrombie & Fitch, where a research could analyze the extent to which A&F reflects trends within USAmerican masculinity ideals (perhaps primarily urban USAmerica).

    As to the original post:

    • I do not buy or wear A&F because I don't identify with its projected image and have no socialization toward buying A&F clothing. On this same token, I have little inclination toward Hot Topic's faux rebellious individualism.
    • I largely find the A&F image hot and attractive, even the overworn necklaces; part of the reason I find it attractive is that it makes me think of adult-yet-youthful insecurity, which works for me somehow (this is the same reason for why I find cologne a turn-on).
    • Until my body image reeks of hawtness, I will not wear blue-colored jeans and buying acid-washed jeans for a premium price makes no sense to me.
    • There is one clothing store toward which I feel some connection here in Norway called Dressman. I generally like some of the clothing and enjoy their regular sales. Their sporty-business imagery partially works for me.
    • As to the clonerific or zombietastic socialization by A&F...eh, I don't experience it as being any worse than the other forms of mass-produced indvidualism (I'm tempted to write McIndividual, but even that is nothing particular new or bold); let not individuals be defined by their singular aspects, but by their conglomeration of those aspects.
  • NickoftheNort...

    Posts: 1416

    Dec 19, 2007 8:22 AM GMT
    Oh, as far as the "walking billboard" is concerned, I have similar non-visible-brand-name-angsts.

    If I am going to advertise while walking around, I either want a decent wage or cheaper clothing. I will not pay extra so that I do free work for a particular company.
  • cg220

    Posts: 208

    Dec 19, 2007 9:21 AM GMT
    well, i have one t-shirt from there and it fits so well! I would definintely get another the next time I am home. BUT, the best part was the shopping experience in New York. It was more like going into a club than a shop. Great music, great looking people... one guy's whole job was to stand in the doorway with his shirt off and look good... now that is Marketing. While I generally am not a fan of the walking billboard look, I am happy to have a few from A&F
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    Dec 19, 2007 10:22 AM GMT
    I can come up with one critisism

    For everyone who says it's over priced spare a thought for European shoppers the London Abercrombie and Fitch store sells the stuff at 100% mark up on what they charge over in the states


    So We have $160 jeans, $170 fleece and $80 tee shirts icon_rolleyes.gif
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    Dec 19, 2007 12:14 PM GMT
    For those of you who have not seen them before:

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    Dec 19, 2007 12:25 PM GMT
    lol I was never into A&F to tell u the truth, im more into the european style, like deisel, G-star, energy, etc. A&F looks kinda sloppy once u start wear those brand names, check them out.and also cuz im a small guy A&F's r way too big for me. sorry in advance in i offended anyone, sorry!!!!! icon_biggrin.gif
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    Dec 19, 2007 2:29 PM GMT
    My best friend and I walk buy Abercrombie in the mall and always make the same joke. We always claim that there is a stench of baby twinks coming out of that store. lol! We think its hysterical!

    On the real though, their stuff is ok, its just basic these days. Nothing special. Its overpriced and overated. They do have good quality though. I actually a buy a lot of abercombie kids t shirts. icon_biggrin.gif
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    Dec 19, 2007 2:57 PM GMT
    I'm a current Abercrombie worker and I have pretty mixed feelings about the place...About a year ago I was recruited to work in the store and I've done it part time ever since. I'm 23 years old and for the most part older than the other employees (aside from managers) and I just felt like I was getting too old to be working there. Right now I work about 4 hours a week just to help out with special projects (definately not for the money!).It's really an artificial culture that the company tries to promote as being real. I barely talk to most of my coworkers outside of the store and most of us only wear the clothes when we have to work. I find most of our straight male clientele to be extremely masculine and most of our gay clientele to be extremely femenine. I've got several pairs of jeans and sweats because I really do like the way they fit. But as far as the tops with the name exploded on the front, I only leave those for when I have to work. It always surprises me when I go to the clubs and see so many people compltely A&F'd out. Just throwing my 2 cents in, you only live once so you've gotta do what makes you happy. Happy Holidays boys!!!
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    Dec 19, 2007 3:10 PM GMT
    "Let Steve Reynolds do his own goddamn advertising."

    Those words ring in my ear every time I walk into an Abercrombie store.

    When I was first out of college I was selling advertising for a book that a realtor, Steve Reynolds (name changed to protect the innocent), would distribute to home buyers. The book would feature the kinds of businesess a new home owner would need such as decorators, hardware stores, carpet stores, etc. One family hardware store owner hated the realtor but I didn't know that, and he felt that I was just there to bilk him out of his money to advertise for Reynolds.

    Still, Abercrombie embodies that idea to me. You pay an enormous amount of money to buy a shirt that continues to promote them. They never really have sales and it wouldn't matter if they did because their clothes haven't changed in a decade and their demographic is right out of Logan's Run (and if you get that reference then you are too old for A&F icon_wink.gif ) When Hollister opened it was promoted as Abercrombie & Fitch for young people, and I thought How young? Twelve?!

    And I think it's that demographic that will paint them into a corner. When trends change they will be a relic of the past, surviving but no longer cool, like Members Only jackets and Tommy Hilfiger.

    Moreover, their owner is famously bigoted and narrow-minded and thinks only of the bottom line. They have a terrible record of racial diversity and only seem to like gay money but not gay people.

    I was at their flagship store at Easton in Columbus (a shopping mecca that I am sure StripperRocco knows quite well) and I saw that their new catalog was out. I picked it up to look at it and a clerk came over to me and said "You're not allowed to look at that in here. You have to buy it." When I asked why he said "It contains material that some people might consider offensive." To which I responded "So you promote yourselves with gay soft core porn but you don't want people to see it in your store?"

    Let Abercrombie and Fitch do their own goddamn advertising.icon_lol.gif
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    Dec 19, 2007 3:11 PM GMT
    I do like A&F and if I could afford to wear it all the time I probably just because of the way it fits. The are other brands that have the same type clothing but is a little cheaper(i.e. amercan eagle, areopostale, hollister...etc.) I must admit that finding a shirt that does not have their name plastered all on it can be a hassle.
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    Dec 19, 2007 3:25 PM GMT
    I think it would be funny to walk into an Abercrombie & Fitch, pick up a catalog, and ask a clerk:

    "Where's your rest room, and may I borrow this catalog for fifteen minutes?"

    (I think I saw Borat too many times.)